Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

7 myles - 1.02:25

Matthews Winters - noon
70s, muddy/slush, windy
mind/body - good/stiff legs
easy effort

I guess it's that time when I start adding up all the elevation - no more flat, black tarmac for the rest of the year (I hope). Today was a nice, easy loop around Matthews Winters with just about 1000ft of climbing. I would presume this is the perfect route training for Zane Gray because of all the rocks. Getting up on the Hogback the smell of the Ponderosa pines takes me back to the Colorado trail last summer, in particular, the section above Buena Vista.

I received some pictures from Peter Lindgren that he took at the Buffalo race last weekend. This picture of Jaxon is what it's ALL about! Thanks Peter!

Jaxon finishing the Buffalo 25K with a smile!

Monday, March 29, 2010

10K - 45:49

Lone Tree loop - 8:00 A.M.
50s, a little muddy, clear
mind/body - wandering/good
easy effort

Today was a nice little spin to work out some of that lactic acid. Overall my body feels pretty darn good but I remember what happened last time so I'm being extremely careful with recovery. My thoughts shifted to Zane Gray today; looking at the course profile, watching the 30 minute video, and looking at times over the past 7 years. Should be a fun race with Brimhall, Torrence, Meltzer, AJW, and Jamil Coury all toeing the line.

Here's a photo I picked off Greg Norrander's site. I think Marge took this picture?? Great picture!

Gives you an idea how close Ryan and I were all day

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Buffalo 50 mile - 2nd 6.32:xx

Biggest bonehead move of the century! With the victory AND CR all sewn up I decided to go straight instead of taking a right with 800 meters to the finish.... and with Ryan Burch on my heels that was all she wrote.

Here's how the day played out:

It snowed/rained the day before which turned out to be the best thing for the sandy course, just enough to make the sand harder. We took off right at 6 A.M. and immediately Ryan, Eric Storheim, myself, and Max quickly separated ourselves. And to be quite honest, the pace was pedestrian-like as we all talked and got to know each other. My plan was to follow Storheim as he was the only one I knew that had been on this course but by the time we got the first aid station Burch and I already separated ourselves. At the first aid you have the choice of doing a short out and back along a ridge before or after the loop, I was going to do it after to get a little more light but when Burch left to do it first I had no choice to follow. I knew Burch and I would be close all day so I had to keep tabs on him and get a better idea of his pace. Eric decided to do the loop first and that was last we saw of him until the 'other' out and backs.

Ryan led me through the loop at a pretty good pace, at one point bombing a downhill, but I stayed right there testing the legs. At the end of the loop we were less than a second apart and that's how we stayed for the next 10 myles. We came through the start finish area (mile 19) in 2.25 and I knew we were on pace for the CR. Up to this point the course was well marked with flour arrows but you know as well as I do, any sort of traffic will quickly erase those arrows. Ryan and I entered another out and back, when we got to the port-o-potty (supposed turn around) there were no markings so I continued down the the road all the way to the causeway while Ryan stopped at the porty. When I got to the causeway I saw no markings so I looked back to Ryan with my arms raised and I headed back. As we passed Storheim he told us that we were supposed to turn around at the porty. Mentally that was tough because we lost a good 7-8 minutes but we put our heads down and continued to work together on the next loooong out and back.
Mile 42 - Photo by John Bozung
This next out and back was 20 myles long almost all flat. Mile markers were posted so I began to check my pace, pretty close to 7:10s the entire way out (4.12 at Ranch aid station). My plan was to cruise out and try to make a gap on the way back. Ryan was never more than 30 seconds back both out and back, which was surprising on the way back because I was feeling good and pushing the pace a bit.

While I was out there racing my 10 year old son, Jaxon had now started his own race with his Grandfather in the 25K. They started at 10 A.M. so my thoughts shifted to them and wondered how they were doing. Jaxon had come down with a cold a couple days before so I just hoping he would make it through. Jaxon had helped me with the Colorado Trail last summer up to 15 myles so I knew he could do it. Sitting around after the race licking my wounds, Jaxon and Rick turned the corner down the long traverse and everything that had gone on in the day didn't matter anymore. I became emotional as Jaxon started sprinting towards the finish line - 4.02:xx! You should have heard everyone cheering for him. Several
people came up afterward telling him congratulations, like "I don't know you but I think that is absolutely amazing what you just did". Jaxon was sick but his face was glowing with happiness. I'm always nervous to let him do things like this because I don't want him to have a bad experience. Out of all the races I've done in my life, this one was the most special. Congratulations to Jaxon and also Rick for being there every step of the way. What a day it must of have been with them hanging out on the trails and seeing the amazing scenery.

Finally when we reached the gate and started up hill around mile 43, I sensed that I could push a little harder. On the start of the final loop I looked back and for the first time all day I couldn't see Ryan. After the race when Ryan and I talked, he said it was around mile 43 that he did not feel the best and stopped at the aid for some Coke. Around the 5 mile loop I went building steam on the smooth single track when we encountered the first real rocky section of the day. And wouldn't you know it, I kicked a rock and took a nice digger... I just laughed as I picked up my stuff scattered all over the trail.

Finally I could see the start/finish area which I estimated about 10 minutes away. I looked down at my watch - 6.14, I knew I was well on my way to the win and CR. I turned around and saw Burch 30 seconds back and kept checking for any late race surges. We entered a small maze of trails and then the road(s) leading to the finish. All of these intersections had several white flour arrows, which was comforting. Finally out on the last roads I had the option to turn right or go straight up about 400 yards to some orange signs that I focused on. All day we had orange signs with black arrows that I was accustomed to knowing the right way. When I got up there and noticed the arrows were on the other side directing cars, I turned around, threw my hands up in the air and saw Burch turn the corner pointing down the road. SHIT! Ryan motored to the victory and CR with me in tow 30 seconds later. That's part of trail racing.

I am extremely happy with my result. Congratulations to Ryan Burch for running such a strong race all day! I think it's pretty amazing that we stayed so close all day. Ryan and I will get another chance to race at the San Juan Solstice later this summer where, at least, I know the course. I felt strong all day with constant energy from the EFS liquid shot that I nipped at every 15 minutes. Thanks to Jim Skaggs for putting on such a great race. We hung around all day after the race catching up with family, friends, and drinking lots of Cokes.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

6 myles - 40:44

Grigs - 8:00 A.M.
30s, North wind, snowy
mind/body - ready to go
easy effort

Got out this morning amidst a ton of snow, and for good measure put in one mile @ 6:13. The best part is that my calf felt completely normal so no sense in talking about it any more. I feel very confident going into the race this weekend but only time will tell if I have the endurance yet. At any rate, I'm looking forward to catching up with so many friends and family.

To get under CR of 6.43 is a tall task for this profile

Last night Darcy Africa and I gave a presentation at Boulder Running Company in Boulder. My talk was on training, nutrition, and hydration, Darcy talked about racing and being a mom. In all only 12 people showed up but I thought the information was well received by all. Thanks to Pearl Izumi (in particular Kody Riley) for sponsoring the event and Jon Windemuller for hosting. Look for more of these types of events across the front range.

And, oh ya, I moved up on the HR wait list to #10

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

10K - 38:50

Lone Tree loop - 4:00 P.M.
40s, raining, getting sloppy
mind/body - antsy/GOOD!
Hard effort

I decided I would let it go today and see what came of it.... It's all good! Got my calf sleeves from the FedEx guy, slipped em on, and took off. I was really surprised how solid my calf felt - probably mental but doesn't placebo effect count for something? 6.15s with elevation. The confidence booster I was looking for!

Monday, March 22, 2010

8 myles - 58:11

Daniels Park - 8:00 A.M.
40s, clear, a little wet
mind/body - good/GOOD!
easy effort

I woke up this morning and decided if I can't go an hour without any discomfort then I have no business running 7 times that in 5 days... Turned out good. I'm really not sure how there can be such a drastic difference from one day to the next. I didn't have any pain yesterday, just discomfort as if something was wrong. Maybe it was it my head. At any rate, I hope I'm on the mend 'for real' this time.

Should be a good race Saturday with Storheim and Burch looking to go under 7 hours, I hope to be in the mix as well.

Myles gettin ready for his first soccer game against brother

Sunday, March 21, 2010

10K - 1.15:25

Lone Tree Loop - 8:00 A.M.
20s, snow, frozen mud
mind/body - good/fickle calf
easy effort

With Jaxon again today. A little slower than last week partly due to the snow and Jaxon got a side ache so we slowed a bit. He's excited to run next Saturday, Dad not so much... One day the calf is good, the next it's acting up. So the recovery from Caumsett and the prep for Buffalo has been anything less than ideal but that's the way it goes sometimes. I still think I should be fine with a couple more days off. I bought some of these to help with the calf although there is no scientific proof they work so if anything will help with peace of mind. So when you see me with these on, know there's a reason - not just looking to make a fashion statement.

Check this out. I've downed a dozen of those babies before but not for speed and certainly didn't have to run afterward. Maybe the next CRUD eating challenge?? Last, did you check out the video on the side bar "Dancin Myles"? Now THAT is funny!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

14 myles - 1.43:06

Lone Tree Loop - Noon
60s, clear, little wind, dry
mind/body - OK
easy effort

I contemplated going 20 today but for the sake of the fickle calf, I opted out. I ran to/from (1.78 each) Lone Tree loop and did 4 loops. Each loop is 2.6 with a couple climbs (18:57, 18:44, 18:54, 18:57) for a 7:21 average with a total elevation of ~2500 ft.

Big storm coming late tonight with 10 inches expected. I thought I'd at least attach another nice picture of spring to remind us what all that water is gonna bring.

Photo by Glen Delmen

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

11 myles - 1.18:06

HR urban trails
67 degrees! mostly dry, clear
mind/body - eager/good
easy effort

Gotta admit - I was a little nervous to run today for the simple fact that I wanted a healthy calf. I specifically took yesterday off to let the calf recover from 3 straight days of light running. I think it worked because I did not feel it today. Nice easy pace (7:06 avg) on a very beautiful day!

I've been reviewing the Buffalo 50 course map on Google earth and it appears that all of the climbing is done after mile 16 - is that correct? Does anyone know what the total climbing is? My guess is that the vertical and terrain are very similar to the American River 50. If that's the case then posting a time around 6.30 on a good day is feasible.

Monday, March 15, 2010

10 myles - 1.11:07

Daniels Park - 4:00 P.M.
upper 40s, sloppy, clear
mind/body - good
easy effort

7:06 average today with not much effort at all. Again, like yesterday I didn't feel the calf until I started to think about it so it should be fine moving forward.

I conducted a small experiment today (n=1). An experiment I tried back in 2006 prior to Leadville... Can I survive all day on gels alone? I mean, we do it for the most part in 50 and 100 mile races, why is it so hard during a normal day? This is not scientific by any means but here is what I did: woke up and had my normal pot of coffee (maybe that's cheating already but I do it on race day), a couple gulps of EFS liquid shot every 15 to 30 minutes up through 3 P.M., went running, resumed EFS liquid shot through 7:30 P.M. And then I broke down and had a bowl of pasta...

Here is what I found: My energy was constant but low, ketone bodies were starting to build (could tell by the bad taste in my mouth), the run was normal with good energy, but eventually I broke down because I kept walking into the kitchen.... I guess you can say the carbohydrate craving took over my hypothalamus. I know my liver glycogen was running low because my thinking and cognitive thought was slow. So how do we survive 50 and 100 mile races on the little amounts of real food we eat? Does Adrenaline help metabolize fat? I don't know. Care to postulate?

Alright gotta go eat something but in the meantime I'm gonna read more of Noakes book and try this again with a different supplement.

Another reminder of Spring

Sunday, March 14, 2010

10K - 1.08:34

Lone Tree Loop - 8:00 A.M.
30s, overcast, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

He did it. Jaxon finished the 10K loop without stopping. That was the goal in order to let him do the Buffalo 25K - I'm proud of him. Although I would like him to have done more training, I have not pushed him one time and let him do this on his own accord. His time today as opposed to last time is 8 minutes faster and less complaining. One more longer run of 8 myles next week and he should be ready.

As for me, the calf feels fine and probably a good thing I took it easy today. I only put in 30 myles this week but as long as I can double that next week I should be fine going into Buffalo.

11:03 avg. on trails with some hills - Nice job Jaxon!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

8 myles - 1.01:13

Lone Tree loop - 8:00 A.M.
40s, clear, mostly dry
mind/body - good/twinge in left calf
easy effort

Remember how I said I recover quicker if I don't take so much time off after a race? Well the other side to that is running the risk of injury. Thursday when I woke up my left calf was tight but had no sign of it the day before during the run. DOMS?? Could be. But I took Thursday and Friday off just to be sure. Got out today and really didn't notice it until I started thinking about it half way through the run. At any rate, I'm taking all precautions by icing afterwards and not pushing it until next week. I'm very limited on time as far as getting any key workouts in before the Buffalo 50 but I hope to back to back 20 mile runs next week.

Just to remind everyone what spring looks like - photo by Glen Delmen

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

8 myles - 1.02:34

Foothills trail - 4:00 P.M.
30s, cloudy, a little muddy
mind/body - good/still recovering
easy effort

Worked the day in Ft. Collins so I looked to the hills for a quick run. Sorry Nick woulda called but it was spur of the moment before I bolted back up to Cheyenne.

Gotta admit, I was a little rusty descending down the Foothills trail but it didn't take long to put a smile on my face. My legs are still a little stiff but as I sit here and type this the legs feel great. I also put in 6 myles yesterday along a path in Cheyenne. I notice when I start running sooner after a race I recover much quicker as opposed to taking a few days off.

I'm really looking forward to racing Buffalo 50 in a few weeks. I feel I can post a time close to the CR of 6.43. I don't know anything about the course so that might be a bold prediction, we'll see how the next couple of weeks go.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Caumsett 50K 3.13:25 - 3rd

Yep. Did just what I said I wouldn't do - go out too fast. I guess you can say the competition gets the best of me, literally. Sorry this has taken a bit to post but been busy straight after the race from seeing shows on Broadway to working in Cheyenne, WY today. At any rate here is how the race played out for me:

Nicole and I traveled up to Caumsett historic park on Friday and walked the grounds of the natural preserve of Marshal Fields III - absolutely beautiful! I ran the 5 K course a couple times noticing a few 'slight' hills, I kinda laughed at the time (not really hills but the course description highlighted them) but knew the 'hills' would be laughing in the end. Nicole and I took it all in and enjoyed the day but in the back of my mind I was dreading going round 10 times...

Saturday morning came, brisk, but clear and a slight wind. I lined up next to Michael Wardian and a few others I didn't recognize. The gun went off and so did Mike W. and another fellow by the name of Jesse. Jesse later fell off the pace but apparently this was his first ultra and decided to let it fly. Just behind them was another by the name of Malcom (2.19 marathoner), me, and then a chase pack of Scott Dunlap, Mark Godale, Dan Verrington, and Ben Nephew. For some reason I got it in my head that I had to get away from that group and be alone. Once I was clear I pushed myself to make them chase me. When in reality I should have fallen back because I didn't feel as fast as I did during the marathon - I was working way too hard for a 6 flat pace. I don't remember my exact paces for each 5K loop other than the first because that was a fast 5:57 pace and thought "well... might as well go for it now and see what happens...." The splits are listed here with complete results.

As the day wore on I could feel myself slow and during an out and back section one fellow by the name of Dan Verrington, who was in the chase pack, was slowly catching me. He finally caught me on the 6th loop, we ran together for the remainder of the loop and then at the start of 7 he made a gap - I thought he was gone for good. As best as I could tell he was about 45 seconds up on me going into 9 and then midway through the loop I could tell he was coming back to me. I got the little tinglies in my head and was determined to make it a battle... by the 1st mile of the 10th lap I had pulled even, stayed with him for a 1/2 mile, then when we hit 'the hill' I pushed hard to see what he had.... he didn't respond. Now I was running in front and running scared... the scared part made me push harder. Don't know I was going any faster but I sure the hell felt like it! You the know the feeling.

My goal going in was 3.15 so I am very happy with the result! And I never would have cranked out that time without the help of my wife. Nicole was my one stop shop for gel, water, and electrolytes. Each time I came around she not only filmed, but took pictures, and handed me what I needed without having to stop. To top off the whole weekend we stayed in Time Square for a night, watched a Broadway show, and walked ALL around the NYC. One of the best weekends I've had in a long time. The most stressful part of the whole time was driving downtown NYC... taking a taxi next time!

Lap 1 - out and back section
Courtesy of Scott Dunlap

Thursday, March 4, 2010

5 myles - no time

Grigs - 4:00 P.M.
50s, clear, dry
mind/body - eager/strong
easy effort

All ready to go! The excitement is starting to settle in - that's what I'm used to feeling! The nervousness that goes along with that (I think) is supposed to be there because I wanna do well, that's all. I've trained and prepared like I set out to do now it's all about running my own smart race. I will be happy to go away with 3.15 or less - that's the goal. My wife will be tweetin' to give race updates and then a final time so check back frequently on Sunday. Race begins 8 AM EST which would be 6 AM EST.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

6 myles - 39:07

Grigs road - 8:00 A.M.
50s, clear, dry
mind/body - ready to go!
easy effort

Another test of leg speed - last two myles in 11:21 (5:40 avg.). I was a little surprised because the effort seemed easier than in the past. At this point, I need to be really careful of going out too fast. I know I can't hold that pace for very long so I'm hoping not to get caught up in what Mike W. is doing - I know he can hold that pace. My plan is 6:10s to start and then hold around 6:05s for as long as I can - I have no idea what's gonna happen after 26. I know that I was completely worked at the end of the marathon so going slower in the beginning will help me through those last 5 myles.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

11 myles - no time

Daniels Park - 11:00 A.M.
50s, clear, almost dry
mind/body - eager/strong
easy effort

Couldn't resist getting out today - very nice, sunny day! My watch conked out on me otherwise I would have taken time to check leg speed. Did 10 x 10 sec (guess) x 10% sprints on the way back, read an article Paul gave me (can't remember the author) talking about this being more of a neurological stimulator workout than anything else - I think it was in Running Times last summer.

At any rate, I am ready to go. I emailed the race director this morning to get the conditions and weather.... snow should be gone and they are expecting a low in the 30s and high in the 50s - ideal for running fast.

Team PI/Smith 2010 with new slick tops

First time video on a slick trail so a bit shaky