Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Monday, May 31, 2010

Pocatello 50K - 5.02:19

Well.... not exactly what we all signed up for but sometimes mother nature has a mind of her own. Nasty conditions starting 30 minutes into the race forced the race directors to shut it down after 5 hours. Here's how it unfolded:

Weather reports weren't looking good the two days previous to the race, the long standing high pressure was moving East allowing a big system to come rolling in about 3 AM on Saturday morning. I woke up to howling winds but partly cloudy skies so I was hopeful. As the race started the skies were gray but no moisture yet, perfect running conditions in my opinion. I knew we were going to make some climbs up to exposed ridges so I put a long sleeve shirt underneath and wore the calf sleeves for extra warmth. As I looked around at other runners, I looked overdressed but then again some of these guys were only doing the first of three segments for a relay event.

Up the first hill we went, tucked in behind Sean Meissner and we chatted a bit. I felt the pace was a little bit too casual so I passed a couple people and by the top of the first climb I had reached Joe Grant and Luke Nelsen. My legs were strong and my breathing was easy but I elected to tuck in behind those two to gage their pace up and down. It wasn't until the first descent that it started to rain, it was almost misting but it was getting us wet. All 3 of us went through the first aid station within seconds, without stopping, and powered up the first of many climbs. Off trail we went straight up a ridge where Luke was climbing the strongest and made a 15 second gap. At the top the rain had now turned to pelting snow and REALLY strong winds. My hands were ice blocks but I knew the faster I got down, the warmer I would get. Joe and I had a great advantage because Luke lives in Pocatello so he knew the course inside and out. For the most part we followed but on the descent, Joe took off and created his own little 30 second gap.

We all 3 made the City Creek aid station around 2.31 (8 minutes ahead of CR) and left in the same order. Now we had to climb back up to the same snowy ridge we had just descended. The climb was a steady one but we all were running everything; Luke was still climbing the strongest with me in tow and we had both gapped Joe a bit. Back on top the wind and snow were blinding - it was worse than just an hour before. Snow was now accumulating but that was OK because it was covering the once slippery mud. I knew this next descent into the next aid station was a good one to use some leg speed so I pushed the pace. Suddenly Luke stopped for a pit stop which made me push a little harder. And seeing how fast Joe descended last time I knew I had to be fast. I was feeling great and finally that "next gear" that I had been searching for came to life. I came around the corner into the midnight aid station and I heard someone say "holy shit there's a runner already!" Man I was feeling really good.

At this point the trail was completely snow covered with a couple inches of snow but like I said before it covered up the slippery mud so I didn't mind. The lower we descended toward Mink Creek road though, the slushier the snow got. The slush finally turned into water and mud again and that was the worse part. I came around the final corner into an open meadow where Roch Horton's wife was standing and she said "go inside the tent, get some soup, and get dry" "huh.... WHY?" was my reply.... Got to the aid station and they told me they had just canceled the race 5 minutes ago. First I was in disbelief, then they told me how bad it was getting on Scout Mountain and that people were lost. It all made sense and I almost felt some sort of relief. I made it to Mink Creek aid station in 5.02:19, running segment two in 2.29 - 20 minutes ahead of CR. And as for Joe, sure enough he came into Mink Creek aid station less than 5 minutes after I arrived, telling me how fast he was coming down. I knew it. Luke had come in around 10 minutes after me. It was going to be an epic battle but we'll have to wait till next year.

I want to commend Jared, Ryan, and all the volunteers for their swift action. They absolutely made the right decision. I really feel bad for all of them because of all the work they had put in for this event. And this was a great event! I will be back for sure, not only because I have unfinished business but all the friends I reconnected with. Greg Shadow - very nice job on segment two! Shaving almost two hours off of last years time. And Matt Keddington - sorry you weren't able to run. Don't let all that training go to waste - go do Robie Creek.

Photo by Peter Lindgren - City Creek Aid Station

Thursday, May 27, 2010

6.2 myles - 43:48

Lone Tree Loop - 7:00 A.M.
60s, partly cloudy, dry
mind/body - ready to go!
easy effort

Got home late last night from KC. Supposed to be in by 5 PM but the storms delayed everyone. In fact, a storm was blowing in while we landed as the pilot struggled to keep the plane shiny side up - we landed on one wheel, bounced up, and then properly landed. Then they closed the airport because of lightning and clouds with rotation so we waited on the tarmac for another 1/2 hour - pretty nasty. But made it nonetheless.

Yesterday I made it out in the morning, 4 myles-32 minutes with 10 x 20 second hill sprints. Felt kind of sluggish but probably due to the humidity, not used to it. Today, however, I felt great! No aches or pains, including the calf. Gonna travel out to Wyoming today, stop at a couple of my accounts and then make our way to Idaho tomorrow. Should be a great race with the cast of great runners showing up. I looked at the entrant list this morning and this is who is on my radar: Karl M, Erich P, Luke N, Joe G, Ty D, Ajaydub, Matt H, Sean M. Speed wise - I'm not the fastest guy in this group. Climbing wise - I like my chances. Did I miss anyone? There's always a dark horse, who is it?

Monday, May 24, 2010

7 myles - 1.10:14

Green Mountain - noon thirty
60s, windy, dry
mind/body - strong
Hard effort

My second time up Green (amp/saddle/greenman) in my own individual time trial. And NO this was not an organized race (just in case any spy is reading). phfffttt... I was a little nervous to even try this today because I knew I wanted to post a good time and see how I compared to the heads of state (realizing their unofficial TT was in a sloppy mess to slow things up).

This time I knew where to start my watch so I made a 5 minute jog over to the Gregory TH from Chautauqua, started the watch and began the uphill slog. I've seen other reports of people taking splits but I have no idea where those are so I only have a time to the top - 32:57. And that hurt! Maybe with a little more practice I could shave off 20 or 30 seconds but that's about it. I was pretty cooked once I touched the pole - you know the lungs searing, feeling like you have blood in your mouth - kind of cooked. The trail was completely snow free, nearly all dry, and very few people to dodge. All I could think about on my way up is Tony going up this 4 times in a row!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

18 myles - 2.32:44

Deer Creek - 7:00 AM
60s, windy, clear, dry
mind/body - clear/strong
easy effort

Met up with Geoff and Wyatt this morning at Deer Creek. Wyatt has just moved to town from Ohio looking to get on some runs with people while learning all the new trails. I think it's safe to say he was blown away by the pristine single track of Deer Creek. Geoff is gearing up for his first ultra (Dirty thirty) in a couple weeks. Good running guys!

I felt great this morning but the calf was starting to talk to me on the hills... which is just a good reminder to take care of it with ice, compression, and glutamine for the rest of the week. Oh and a little rest will do it some good. So I end the week with 61 myles, 8000 ft of climbing (4500 today), and just under 9 hours on the feet. Pretty big taper week for me but I feel really good going into Pocatello.

#7 on the HR wait list. List is starting to move...

It's windy outside today so Myles said he needed his swim goggles...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

10 myles - 1.10:35

HR urban trail + hill sprints - 9:00 A.M.
60s, clear, dry
mind/body - feeling good
Hard effort

Today was a much needed confirmation run. Confirmation that I am back on track. Last time I did these hill sprints before ZG I suffered mightily (gombu) barely hitting a 1:07 avg. Much different story today! I had a casual run to and from the hill with a 7:03 pace intermixing short sprints to get the lungs working. Once on the hill (350 meters - 10% grade), feeling good, I decided to make each one progressively faster: 1:06:47, 1:05:57, 1:05:46, 1:04:05, 1:03:55, 1:01:80. A few seconds doesn't seem like a big deal but when you're at the red line each time, it's a pretty big deal.

The sun is shining and Myles has been waiting for it... so has DAD.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

13.2 myles - 1.49:21

Matthews/Winters - 5:30 AM
50s, clear, dry - perfect running weather!
mind/body - clear/strong
easy effort

Met up with Team Gangels and BFish this morning for their regular Wednesday morning jaunt. I say "jaunt" but by the end of the Matthews/Winters loop (54:47) we were pretty much pouring it on, making the legs burn up the hills. We added on Zorro and a 5 mile loop around Green Mountain. The GM loop tacked on the end was more relaxed and conversation pace, which is always good with good company. Thanks for the run guys. Garett G. if you're reading, next Wednesday at 5:30 AM in the Green Mountain/Rooney Rd. parking lot.

After 3 days of ice, massage, and 2 grams of glutamine each day I think the calf is on the mend. No issues to speak of today, even with 2000 ft of climbing.

On another note, I moved up to #9 on the HR list. I think we'll see more movement once the deadline of May 31st is reached for getting all your money back.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

9.25 myles - 1.07:21

Sand Creek - Noon thirty
60s, cloudy, dry
mind/body - eh. good.
easy effort

Met up with Geoff today to run his normal lunch time route. He works on a big magnet machine at the U of CO and I happened to be working at the U today. Bfish skipped out on us... something about having run already in the morning. Bfish we needed you and your geeky watch!

Somewhat of an up-tempo run. We talked the whole run but managed a 7:15 pace and felt really good. My legs didn't know what to do on this flat stuff, almost an outer body experience. Nice little dirt path that meanders the neighborhood. Calf felt good on the flat stuff and body seems to be recovered.

Monday, May 17, 2010

11 myles - 1.18:43

Coyote Ridge - 7 AM
50s, clear, dry
mind/body - surprisingly good
easy effort

I spent the afternoon on Saturday and most of yesterday taking care of the calf, fearing the worst. When I got home on Saturday I immediately applied RICE and took 2 grams of glutamine. Woke up Sunday morning went down to Wash park with the boys and did a 5K walk for the Arthritis Foundation. The calf was sore but not any worse than before. The rest of the day I massaged, glutamine, and RICE again.

This morning I woke up and felt great, still a little sore in the calf but a little less than yesterday. So I laced em up and went out at a pedestrian pace to see if I could feel anything... Sore - yes. Manageable - yes. The further I got into my run the better I felt. I figure if I stay on top of this one I will be fine as I enter a taper period. Normally I'm a 5 run/week guy but these last couple of weeks has been 6 and 7 (and even some doubles) so I'm feeling out my range here. I'm no spring chicken anymore...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

35 myles - 7.00:26

Mt Sanitas - 5 AM
40s, wet, cloudy
mind/body - strong
Hard effort

Who suggested this 12 hours of Sanitas anyway? Oh yah.... I guess that was me. I must of been sitting at my computer conjuring up crazy things when thinking of this. WOW! This was tough.

I met Darcy at the Centennial TH just before 5 AM and we had our goodies for our own little aid station at the shelter. The first lap it was dark so we had our head lamps and way too many layers... it looked cold but in reality it was very nice for running. We went counter clockwise and had a very easy first lap talking about anything and everything running, including our positions on the non-moving HR list. Which is why were doing this run in the first place - no better training for HR. This loop consists of 1300 ft of climbing and only 3.4-5 myles per loop. Lots and lots of rocks as you come down the ridge on the Sanitas trail so very technical.

As we shed our layers at the make-shift aid station we headed up the Valley trail for lap two, light enough but still no people. We both were running pretty much everything to this point except the very top of Mt Sanitas. On the 3rd loop I was now chasing a fellow who was moving pretty well, turns out it was Peter Bakwin (FKT for 12 hours - 16 laps). I'd never met him so I was peppering him with questions because the man has done some many different things to include a DOUBLE Hard Rock a few years back. We ran together for two loops and then he was off, bolting down the Goat trail back home. Next couple of laps kinda ran together as I was just a few minutes in front of Darcy but as the clouds cleared the people of Boulder flocked. I passed a couple people (Jaime and Donny) who were going the other way but graciously introduced themselves and gave words of encouragement - thanks guys!

Oh I almost forgot, early on in the day I saw a familiar face doing laps in the other direction - John Hemsky. John made the drive up from Ken Caryl, he and I passed each other in almost the same spot each time, meaning we were going about the same pace. John probably did 7 or 8 laps before taking off, very nice job John.

So round and round I went feeling remarkably strong up through 8 laps. I was running all the way up to the sign on the Meadow trail each lap and then intermittent hiking and running the rest of the way up to the top. At the end of lap 8, I met up with Jeff Valliere and John Prater. People I've never met but frequent their blogs. It was good to finally put a face to name and meet some new people. They sauntered with me for my final two laps - 9 and 10. We talked about running, racing, climbing, you name it running - good conversations, thanks guys! As we were finishing 9 we also met up with Garett Graubins who was doing what they call the Skyline traverse. He was 4.5 hours into his own run and was still looking at another two hours to get back to his car. He finished with me, chatted a bit, and was on his way. Good catching up Garett!

So why only 7 hours?? Good question. It certainly wasn't the prescribed 12 hours BUT I was content with the work I put in... and the fact that my fickle calf was getting mad again. A little twinge, you know. It's sore right now but nothing too bad. So I bowed out after 7 hours, 10 laps, and 13,000 feet of climbing. Not a bad day eh? Now let me tell you what Darcy did... SHE finished 15 laps in 11.30! That is a new Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the women. That is 52.5 myles and 19,500 feet of climbing - way to go Darcy!

Here are my lap splits for the day:
1 - 42:44
2 - 38:43
3 - 39:54
4 - 43:19
5 - 39:53
6 - 40:54
7 - 40:51
8 - 42:17
9 - 46:38
10 - 45:12

And thanks to all my new (and old) friends who came out: Jaime (hyme), Donny, John Hemsky, John Prater, JV, Peter Bakwin, and Garett Graubins. Hope to see you all on the trail real soon!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

9 myles - 1.03:57

Lone Tree loop - noon
40s, wet/muddy, overcast
mind/body - good
easy effort

I put the calf sleeves back on today but not because of an injury, rather to prevent one. I feel fast with calf sleeves on, anyone else feel that way? Only 7:07s today but primarily due to the mud caking up on my feet making 10 lb weights. 8 runs in the last 7 days gives me 90 for that time span (previous 7 days was 95). So I'm hovering around 100 and remarkably still feel fresh everyday. Hopefully with my big run on Saturday I can get to triple digits... if not it's no big deal. The bigger deal is time on my feet with lots of vertical.

On another note, I'm looking for a new watch. One that will be the most accurate for distance and elevation gain. Friends go ahead and get geeky on me to offer up some suggestions or opinions. I know Christian will have some input since he plays with this stuff all day (or at least used to). Price is no object cause I'm a multi-millionaire and my wife loves for me to spend money on this kind of stuff... HA and HA!

Updated the link on the Pearl Izumi logo to go to the new Facebook page. Check it out. It lists all the athletes on the run and new tri team with a little bio.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

12 myles - 1.20:51

Daniels Park - 8:00 A.M.
30s, snow, muddy
mind/body - good/strong
Hard effort

I haven't logged nearly enough quality stuff lately so I thought today would be a good day to start. I averaged 6:44s with the last mile in 5:58, but those numbers are kinda deceiving.... this route has about 1000 ft of climbing mixed in with it so I'm extremely happy with 6:44s. In fact, this is the fastest I've run this route over the years. Usually will be in the high 6:50s, lucky to break 7. All in all good change of pace today. I figure I'm gonna get enough vertical on Saturday to make up for a couple weeks...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

15 myles - 1.56:11

Lory/Sanitas - 7/3
40s, sprinkling, mostly dry trail
mind/body - good
hard effort

Trying to play catch up here after a couple looong days in Wyoming. Ya know, Wyoming is a BIG state with a lot of nothing in it. Sure there are cities but they are so far away from each other. Everyone of us in Colorado could move to Wyoming and have a 50 acre lot and still have room to grow. Next time I'm in Casper I'm certainly going to carve out some time to go exploring the Wind Rivers.... almost drove into the median starring at them to my left.

Got a few runs in along the way. Monday morning on the TM at the Holiday Inn Express in Casper, nice easy 6 myles in 47 minutes. Spent the rest of the day driving to Gillette and then back to Ft Collins. Tuesday morning got out to Lory State Park for a good 10 myles in 1.13. Then in the afternoon I made my way to Boulder and got a loop in at Sanitas before my next appointment. Went up the Sanitas trail in 18:48. Kinda disappointing cause I busted my butt to see what I could do. I felt like I was going sub 18 but maybe next time.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

10 myles - 1.09:30

HR urban trails - 8:00 A.M.
60s, clear, dry
mind/body - solid
easy effort

Today was probably the best run of the whole week! I only intended to go for a real easy run to shake the legs out but when I got to the turn around my legs wanted to go... came back in 32:20 (6:28s). Nothing spectacular, by any means, but a huge confidence booster to know that my body is starting to respond to the bump in mileage.

Normally I'm not big on numbers but I need to track my bump in mileage to be incremental rather than all at once to avoid injury. So my numbers for the week: 85 myles, 11 hours, 16,300 climbing. Next week needs to be the week for 100 but traveling to Wyoming later today for work will put a damper in that.

Happy Mother's day to all you mom's out there! All the mom's I know are the glue that keeps everything together in the family. We (Dad's) couldn't function without you!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

20.4 myles - 3.03:13

Deer Creek - 7 AM
50s, clear blue skies, dry
mind/body - good/eh.
easy effort

Met up with Geoff again this morning. This being his first trip to Deer Creek so I was more than happy to show him around the beauty of this course. It couldn't have been more perfect this morning! We did pretty much everything up at Deer Creek to include; Bear, Red Cloud (twice), and Golden Eagle. It's hard to gauge the total elevation gain but I would suspect somewhere in the low 5000 range. We kept the pace very honest all while striking up good conversation all the way from Haggis (it might be good but I can't get over what it's made of) to immigration (me being Mexican and he Canadian).

So far this week I've put in 75 myles with 15,800 elevation gain and feel decent. Having said that, I now realize in order to hit 100 I have to run every day and maybe even a two-a-day once or twice. Next week will be interesting as I venture out to Mt Sanitas on Saturday for 12 hours of laps - yikes! Good solid HR training... that's if I get in! The wait list hasn't budged in over a month. Someone has got to be getting scared by now?!?

Friday, May 7, 2010

15 myles - 2.03:26

Mt. Falcon v1.0 - 8:00 A.M.
30s, clear, skiff of snow
mind/body - good/sluggish
easy effort

I had visions of doing a double at Falcon today but I started too late and the legs were in Molasses so one time around was enough for me. I took a day off yesterday after 7 straight days so I was hoping to be refreshed today... eh. It turned out OK. About the 45 minute mark I started to hit my stride and then finished feeling strong. Nothing spectacular on the splits below, just confirming I got stronger as the day went on:

End Turkey Trot: 18:23
Shelter: 30:36
Start Parmalee: 51:46 (after two dog and walker's)
End Parmalee: 1.10:57
End old Ute: 1.35:48
Start Turkey Trot: 1.50:17
End: 2.03:26

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A couple of runs

Normally I like to keep up to date on a daily basis of my runs but wasn't able to yesterday, day just got away from me. Ended up selling my Mtn bike yesterday for some extra cash. So here's an update for those keeping tabs on me:

Tuesday: Mt. Falcon v0.75 - 10 myles - 1.32:34 - 2500 ft of climbing
Wednesday: Daniels Park/HR loop - 18 myles - 2.11:02 - 1000 ft of climbing

Leading into yesterday I had a nice streak of 6 days of good running (good in terms of overall body feel and feeling like a had another gear to go to). But as I sat in my car in the parking lot of Mt Falcon yesterday, I just didn't want to run. And the longer I sat there, the less I wanted to go. Finally I talked myself into it by agreeing (as if I'm talking to my alter ego) to turnaround if things didn't shake out.... Well things never improved. I got to the shelter in 30:28 and was dead. So again I agreed to go to the upper parking lot and turn around... At this point I'm playing mind games and decide that I'm already here so I might as well go around Parmalee. All in all it was a miserable day and I was happy to be done.

Moving into today I felt the same way and went through the same thought process... although it turned out much better. You just never know. I went out early without eating to help with my glycogen stores and see how I felt after two hours. I was really surprised, as the run got longer I got stronger.

So in 7 days, I've run 9 times for a total of 95 myles and 16,600 ft of elevation gain. Nice little bump from my normal 65 myles - but I am tired.

Monday, May 3, 2010

16 myles - 2.15:15

7/2:30 - Lone Tree/Green in Boulder
60s, partly cloudy, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

Two runs today, not planned, but I couldn't help it being up in Boulder for work. I ran my home course (9 myles) this morning at 7 AM with a 6:57 pace, then again at 2 PM up Green Mountain in Boulder. I've been reading about this guy incessantly going up Green Mtn. over the past 4 months so I had to check it out for myself (tried before with Josh and Nick but too much bullet proof ice). I didn't know his exact route so I made my own; Chautauqua TH, Amphitheatre, Saddle Rock, Greenman - 38:27 to the top. Got home and checked out his blog to find out what route he has been for the past 132 times; Gregory Canyon, Ranger, Greenman - something like that. I came down Ranger/Gregory and liked it much better. I'm guessing about 2800 feet of climbing and route trip of about 7 myles.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

11 myles - 1.14:57

Coyote Ridge - 8:00 A.M.
40s, partly cloudy, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

Fourth day in a row where I've felt good. Today was about a minute slower than earlier in the week but mixed it up a bit. This was more of a progressive run where I continually get faster; first 2.5 myles in 18:15 (avg. 7:18); last 2.5 myles in 16:22 (avg. 6:32); last mile in 6:20. Since speed work has been a foregone conclusion lately I realize I need to get back to the quality stuff leading up to Pokey.

As it turns out, this week was really a normal week as opposed to the usual recovery week. I logged 62 myles in 6 runs and hopefully will get up to 100 in two weeks time. Next week I will incorporate both leg turnover and climbing

Saturday, May 1, 2010

15 myles - 2.08:17

Mt. Falcon v1.0 - 6:30 A.M.
30s, clear, mostly dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

Can I really say "easy" anytime at Falcon? Not really. But the point is that we (Brian Fisher, Geoff Armstrong , and myself) really enjoyed being out there this morning without redlining it. Good conversation all the way round. Thanks for the run guys! My legs felt really good climbing despite only 7 days out from Zane Grey. What that tells me is that I'm getting fit. Normally a week after a race I will struggle to get in 30 myles but this week I've already put in 51. Things are starting to shape up nicely! Wonder what's going on with all races right now?? Can't wait to see the results!