Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Saturday, July 31, 2010

34 myles - 4.44:24

Colorado Trail seg 1 - 7 AM
70s, clear, dry
mind/body - solid
easy effort

Tomorrow Waterton Canyon is closing until December 2011 so this was my last chance to get on the CT that is closest to my home. I hate the 6 myles of dirt road leading to the CT but once on the single track, it doesn't get any better. About 500 other bikers and runners joined me this morning to get their last taste of Waterton as well, never seen it so busy before. That was fine with me because I knew once I got far enough away I wouldn't see anyone.

I felt great this morning. My plan was to keep it mellow all day and get a good solid run in. About an 8:20 pace, which is decent with about 4000 of climbing out and back. And just as I suspected, the closer I got to the Platte River, the fewer people I saw, save a few kamikaze mtn bikers flying around blind corners. At any rate, good to be back on the CT, reminiscing the whole time about last September.

Pretty good month for me - 321 myles. 1832 for the year. Last year 1911 through July so pretty similar.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

9 myles - 56:26

Chatfield - 8:00 AM
80s, clear, dry
mind/body - good
hard effort

Jaxon went with me again this morning. It took a little more bribing today because it meant he had to get out of bed and get ready.... normal kid right? On the way over I explained to Jaxon that I would probably not be able to talk that much so I would just answer with 'yes' and 'no'. He carried a backpack with water and Gatorade but was way too far ahead to know I wanted some. Most of this route is flat or down so he was just coasting along and at one point said "this is so much fun, isn't it Dad?" Well.... I had to answer yes but inside I was dying just a little bit.

At any rate, the run went pretty much as expected. My goal was 6:13 pace, which was my 50K pace at Caumsett. I ended up with a time of 56:26, which is 6:16 pace. I'm happy but it wasn't as comfortable as I wanted it to be. Lots of work yet to be done... as in speed work.

This will make you laugh:

I was driving when I saw the flash of a traffic camera. I figured that my picture had been taken

for exceeding the limit even though I knew that I was not speeding.

Just to be sure, I went around the block and passed the same spot, driving even more slowly,

but again the camera flashed.

Now I began to think that this was quite funny, so I drove even slower as I passed the area

once more, but the traffic camera again flashed.

I tried a fourth and fifth time with the same results and was now laughing as the camera

flashed while I rolled past at a snail's pace.

Two weeks later, I got five tickets in the mail for driving without a seat belt.

You know, you just can't fix stupid.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

9 myles - 1.06:54

Daniels Park - 5:00 PM
80s, North wind, cloudy
mind/body - tired from the day
easy effort

Plugged along at an easy 7:26 pace. One the things I learned from Paul is to take it easy on the easy days to recover from a hard day. In the past I tended to push the pace on all my workouts for all my myles.

The best part of the run today was Jaxon riding his bike along side me. He didn't talk much but every now and again he would blurt out "nice job Dad". Hope to have him along side more often.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

10 myles - track

Rock Canyon track - 6 PM
70s, cloudy, dry
mind/body - not eager
hard effort

The first one is always the hardest... In soccer we called these 4-3-2-1 and I used to love to try and kill my players with it. I didn't exactly taste my own medicine today (not trying to kill myself) I went more for a comfortable, hard pace. My goal was 5:48 pace for every set. I figured if I pushed too hard I would get less out the workout and possibly get injured. I ain't no spring chicken any more...

2.5 mile warm up and cool down. On the track it was 1-2-3-4-4-3-2-1 (as in laps). To hit 5:48 I just had to hit 1:27 per 400 meters. Here's how it shook out: 1:24, 2:49, 4:18, 5:45, 5:42, 4:18, 2:51, 1:22 - with 2 minutes between each.

Last (and certainly not least) - Happy Birthday to my lovely wife Nicole! She is now 38 years young. Is that rude to mention that? Nah... age is just a state of mind.

Monday, July 26, 2010

10 myles 1.17:08

Daniels Park - 6:00 AM
70s, clear, dry
mind/body - seemingly good... until I started to run
easy effort

Not sure what kind of funk I was I was in this morning but I think it was a sort of Molasses funk... I was cranking along at a whopping 7:42 pace and I was miserable. I fully intended to get some leg turnover this morning but after my first mile in 7:41 I decided to get the 'junk' myles in for the week.

I'm still contemplating going out tonight to get some 400s in at the track but it's still close to 100 degrees. Got a little inspiration from reading this guy's training blog. Even though I won't hit those kinds of numbers, it gives me some good ideas of what I should be doing over the next 4 weeks.

Alright, so I went back out tonight for another 4 myles. I chased Jaxon on his bike to paintbrush park, did a few more 30 second 5K efforts around the park, followed by a timed last mile - 5:46. OK. I feel a little better...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

18 myles - 1.59:37

Chatfield loop x2 - 11 AM
70s, clear, dry, a little wind
mind/body - eager to see what I've got
hard effort

I fully intended this run to be used as a baseline or gauge of my leg speed. I wanted to know what my comfortable, sustained pace looked like. Didn't actually turn out that way...

I took my time split for each loop at the 10K mark to get a feel for how fast/slow my pace was checking out. Loop #1 I really was relaxed and felt good about my pace but then I went through the 10K in 41:30 (6:41) - I was a little disappointed. I finished the loop in 1.01:44 (6:51) feeling good so I decided to see what I had left for the second 10K split. Loop #2 I pushed the pace to get into the red. I realize I was going from mile 10 to 16 and should slow down a bit, but I wanted to be faster... 2nd 10K split was 38:47 (6:15) and it hurt! I finished the second loop in 57:53 (6:25) and I. Was. Wrecked! This is not gonna be easy... but then again that's why we do it.

All flat.

Friday, July 23, 2010

9 myles - 1.03:00

Lone Tree + loop - 5:00 PM
80s, clear, dry
mind/body - wishy/washy
easy effort

Promising run today. Legs were feeling a little sluggish to start but to be expected after all the climbing yesterday. I decided to keep it mellow for the majority of the run and then the last mile see what kind of speed I have left in the ol legs. Not too shabby - 5:59:36. Although wind aided. I certainly didn't feel comfortable but that's OK being the first leg turnover stuff in 5 months. I was feeling and thinking "light and fast" today. A lot of that had to do with my shoes or should I say slippers.

The new Streak - 7.9 oz

Thursday, July 22, 2010

15 myles - 2.21

Jackson Hole ski resort - noon
70s, clear, dry
mind/body - loving the trails
hard effort

Yesterday was the bunny hill at Snow King so today I decided to go for the black diamond run at Jackson Hole ski resort. I took the Summit trail all the way to the top, 7.3 myles and 4200 ft of elevation gain - 1.24 to the top and 50 something down. Even though this run isn't gonna do me a bit of good in Galway, how can I run a track or flat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming? So I savored every moment knowing it would be last for a while.

Summit Trail in yellow - 10

As I sit here in the JH airport I have a lot of mixed emotions about going to Ireland. No doubt I wanna go for the shear experience of it. I mean, c'mon, this doesn't happen to me and probably never will again. But at the same time I'm really nervous about my "road" fitness. I guess no sense in worrying about it, right? Just get out there and train my ass off for the next 4 weeks - period. A lot of details still to work out.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

~6 myles - 58:27

Snow King ski hill - 7:00 PM
60s, raining, actually pleasant
mind/body - solid
easy effort

In Jackson, WY for work (wink,wink)... coming to Jackson Hole actually makes having to cover the whole state Wyoming - OK. I swear the mountain was calling my name so I got out late and climbed about 2500 ft to the top of the ski hill in town. Lots of people in town and lots of people hiking and running the trail, good to see.

In other news, I got an email today from the IAU inviting me to the IAU 50Km World Trophy final in Galway, Ireland on August 29th. Check it out Apparently my performance at Caumsett back in March earned me a paid invitation, among 39 others from around the world. I had to let them know right away so I instinctively said YES. Now that throws a curve in my current race schedule because obviously I am no longer "road" fit. So I've got basically 4 weeks to try and get fast again, which means I will probably miss the Where's Waldo 100K the week before. I can't pass the opportunity up, right? Even though my heart is with the trails and mountains right now, I've gotta ride this train all the way to the station. Thoughts? Others that I saw on the list from the U.S. were Michael Wardian, Justin Fyffe, Dan Verrington, and Ben Nephew.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

10 myles - 1.09:27

Daniels Park - 7:00 AM
60s, overcast, a little wet
mind/body - good
easy effort

Very good outing this morning. Can't say that I've fully recovered but I felt great! Anytime I can get under 7 pace on this course (some climbing) it's a pretty good run - 6:56 pace this morning.

On another note, I've got a big mouth.... and can fit a lot of food in there. My nephew, Dillon, challenged me to see how many Donette's I could fit in my mouth. Turns out I can do 11 with ease, he only did 6. Check out the video

Sunday, July 18, 2010

8 myles - 58:17

HR urban trails - 9:00 AM
80s, overcast, dry
mind/body - sluggish to start
easy effort

Progress. Each day is a little better than the last. Today started sluggish but by the end I was clipping along at a pretty good pace, in fact, last mile was 6:30. Next race isn't until the end of August (Where's Waldo) but yesterday was a big day for races, in which I was inspired to get back at it. AJdub won Vermont in a decent time, Matt Hart is ahead of record pace on the CT, and my brother in law, Wade, participated in his first trail race - all good stuff.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

8 myles - 57:23

Wildcat Ridge - 8:00 AM
80s, clear, dry
mind/body - good, relatively speaking
easy effort

Easy effort all the way around but I did want to push the pace a bit (7:10s) to see what the legs would do. I was pretty worked at the end of this one, partly cause of the heat and partly because of recovery. Although no noticeable aches or weird kinks so that's all good. I'll get out tomorrow for another 8 to round out the recovery week with 35 myles.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Back on the Colorado Trail

Today I got an opportunity to get back to the Colorado Trail but this time as support. Matt Hart is making a speed attempt and is currently on pace through day 2.

I met Dakota Jones, aka Young Money, at Gold Hill where he took me up to the North Fork of Swan Creek. I'm not fully recovered from Hardrock so this 13 mile section was plenty for me. I hope to be back out to help on another day but can't commit to anything since I've got some work travel coming up. It's a long way to Durango but Matt was in good spirits and still on Basham's record setting splits.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

10K -46:12

Finally laced them up again today and felt decent doing it. Lots of memories still floating around in my head. I've watched the video below a hundred times that Jaxon took at Cunningham. I can smell the finish (or is that my socks??)but dog tired. Thanks again my crew!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hardrock 100 - 31.17 11th place

Simply put - I went big and crashed hard. Why not? I have always admired and respected how some of the top runners in this sport will go for broke every time, willing to lay it on the line, and take the chance of blowing up. I have never really done that but always wanted to know what would happen. I figured since I was approaching my ceiling time at HR, it was gonna take a effort like I've never given before. So here it is, my tale of two races:

First Half

No doubt I was going into HR with a lot of confidence, not arrogance, but confidence that was inwardly expressed. And maybe my lack of confidence in the past has prevented me from doing something really special here. I had Karl's splits from 06 in my head and really thought I could lay down a time in the range of 26 and 1/2.

Karl 06 Scott 10
KT 2.45 2.25 -20
Chapman 1.39 1.33 -6
Telluride 2.17 2.10 -7
Virginius 2.05 1.58 -7
Governor 0.31 0.31 0
Ouray 1.13 1.08 -5
Engineer 2.33 3.23 50
Grouse 1.28 2.03 31
Sherman 3.42 4.26 42
Pole Creek 2.44 3.11 27
Maggie 1.19 1.26 5
Cunningham 1.54 2.05 11
Silverton 2.29 2.23 -6
Karl Meltzer of Sandy, Utah, left, and Scott Jaime of Highlands Ranch cross Mineral Creek Friday, July 9, 2010, as the early front runners during the 2010 Hardrock 100 endurance run through the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.  (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Karl and I in the beginning

Start to KT - 2.25

Right off the start line on the streets of Silverton, people went the wrong way... I went the right way but no one followed. Wonder why? Finally Roch Horton followed and everyone else came along. Pretty funny at the start of the race! Across the river and up the first climb I was in the lead - alone. Where was everyone?? I could not believe how good I felt - running without a chain for sure. Not breathing hard and really, really trying to slow up. By the time I got to KT I was 5 minutes up on Jared and another 5 on a small chase pack. This was the point I realized I could really lay down a stellar time.

Scott Jaime of Highlands Ranch takes the early lead after the first aid station and about 12 miles Friday, July 9, 2010, during the 2010 Hardrock 100 endurance run through the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.  (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Coming up Kamm Traverse

KT to Chapman - 1.33
Now onto Grant-Swamp and down to Chapman. Nothing really special happened during this section other than my legs were really strong up and my mind was focused going down. My concentration was almost clairvoyant - seeing rocks and obstacles before they appeared - very dialed in. As I crested Grant-Swamp I looked back and saw a runner just started the last pitch up Grant-Swamp, didn't know it then but it was Nick Pedatella, who was climbing exceptionally well. Into Chapman where my friends from South Mineral CG (Beth, Rodney, Jim, and Kathy) were volunteering at the Hawaiian themed aid station. It was such a boost to see them all there and gave me some extra motivation to get up Oscar's pass.

Chapman to Telluride - 2.10
I think the climb up (3100ft) Oscar's pass is one of the toughest going this direction; it's relentless and usually very hot. Getting there early this year really helped with the heat so it didn't seem as bad although I was pretty worked when I got to the top. At the top I looked back to see Nick about the same distance back as the previous pass - we both were still climbing good. Now the long down into Telluride. I was really looking forward to this because it's not steep but it's a good 6 myles of down on a fairly decent trail. About a mile out of Telluride people had hiked up and started cheering, another little boost. Saw Nick C and Ryan B who would be pacing Nick later on. My spirits were good. My energy was steady. All systems go for the next brutal climb up to Virginius (4000+ft). I had covered the first 28 myles in 6 hours, only a quarter of the way done but feeling extremely confident.

Telluride to Virginius - 1.58
Up to this point I have been eating good with a variety of solids; pumpkin pie, watermelon, and cookies. In between aid stations I had a steady flow of EFS liquid shot which settled in my stomach and gave a steady stream of energy. The first rain of the day came about an hour up - light and refreshing. Last time going this direction I had bonked (mildly) 1/2 way up so that thought was looming in my brain. This time my legs started to get heavy just short of the top, at about which time I heard Dakota Jones hootin and hollerin going the opposite direction. I was low when I saw him but knew part of it was the altitude.... or was it?? Finally up to Virginius and my first splash of Coke. Thought maybe that would get the climb out of my legs and propel me to Ouray.

Virginius to Engineer - 0.31 : Engineer to Ouray - 1.08
I'll combine these two sections because nothing exciting happened on the way down to Ouray. The Coke (and the down) seemed to help as I felt another solid stream of energy. From one of the highest points to the lowest point on the course in a matter of 11 myles can really trash your legs if you don't watch it so I took it very easy, deliberately. Sure I was tired running down that nasty, dusty Bird Camp road but 44 myles into HR hell yah you're gonna be tired. I rolled into Ouray with a very solid split. I was still in the lead by about 10 minutes but had no idea who was behind me. In Ouray my father in law commented how well I was eating and that I needed to continue so I took some pumpkin pie, watermelon, and a bean and rice burrito with me. Up to this point I had taken less than 5 minutes in all the aid stations, which was huge for me because I usually take about 10 minutes (alone) in Ouray. It was kind of strange but I felt no pressure all day leading the race, I was confident. But once in Ouray I sensed a momentum swing. I don't know if bonking got into my head or if I started doubting if I could hold on - not sure. But I felt a looming darkness getting up Engineer even before it started.

Second Half

Ouray to Engineer - 3.23
Shortly after leaving Ouray in the ice park my race came crashing down! Without a fricking warning, like a light switch came on, I threw up everything I had just eaten. I didn't even have time to get nauseous - it came out like a volcano! That's not normal for me. I continued on at what I thought was a solid pace up hill until Diana Finkel came out of nowhere and scared the shit out of me. It was kind of comical because she commented on how well I looked.... Did she know? Did she see me hunched over? At any rate, I tried to keep pace but as suddenly as my vomitus erruptus came on, the energy was zapped from my legs. AND then came the nausea AND THEN came the dizzy spells and then she was gone... Within 10 minutes as I sat on rocks spaced 10 meters apart, Nick P, John A, and Jared C all passed me. At this point with a 4500ft climb and my inability to stand straight up I knew it was gonna be a loooong slog up to Engineer. "I have been here before" I thought to myself. I knew if I just waited it out, got some fluids and calories in, it would pass. In fact, last time we went this direction I had a bonk in this very section. And that was my solice, to know there would be an end. I took care of myself but nothing was turning around, I was now unable to hear, as if there was water in my ears. Kinda weird but scared me a bit. Along the way Karl comes up on me while I'm sitting on the side of the hill - we sat together and looked at each other shaking our heads. Nothing really to say except "it is what it is". He clearly was not having the day he had hoped and commented that he was just not feeling it all day. Tough to be out there at Hardrock feeling that way. Finally! Up to Engineer aid station and the Coke was a God send. I lapped it up and sat for about 10 minutes. I had lost an hour already and things were not looking very good at all. I was only 52 myles into a 100 mile race and I was curled up in fetal position. I thought "if I don't come out of this soon, I'm gonna have to call it quits at Grouse".

Engineer to Grouse - 2.03
Leaving Engineer I heard over the radio that Glenn Mackie, Michael Foote, and Darcy Africa were heading in. I was losing time very fast and could not do anything about it. By the time I climbed the next 1200 ft to Engineer pass, Glenn had caught me, with Michael and Darcy getting past me down Engineer road. The sad part about this is I left Ouray without a light... I mean, c'mon it's 3.50 in the afternoon and I only have to go 13 myles and 4500ft before dark?? Easy. Nope! I made it to within 1 mile of Grouse before it was completely dark - 9:30 PM. It took me nearly 5 and 1/2 hours, losing two hours. My father in law finally met me up the road with my light and walked me in. I had made up my mind that this was too much to handle, I was gonna call it quits. While struggling to get into Grouse, my thoughts shifted to my crew because I knew they would be worried about me. What I didn't expect was to see my 11 year old son so emotional when I finally came in. He was so upset because he thought something happened to me, it broke my heart. But what put me over the top and changed the way I was thinking is what he said next while sobbing. Jaxon, while wiping away his tears, said "Dad you can't quit! You are truly an inspiration to me. Not very many people get a chance to do this race so you have to finish." That is verbatim! I will never forget it and neither will my wife, Dave Horton, or anyone else standing around that heard it. I sat in the chair at Grouse trying to eat, drink, and stay warm, constantly being pestered with "c'mon eat a little... drink a little... one more sip..." After 45 minutes of that I elected to go lay down in the warming tent right next to Karl. Dave and my wife told me to sleep for 45 minutes and they would be back... I didn't sleep but the longer I stayed there the closer I inched to calling it quits. I was still in bad shape but kept replaying Jaxon's comment in my mind. One more round of "c'mon eat a little.... drink a little.... one more sip..." and then I was up being re-clothed. Everything I didn't eat, Dave Horton would scarf up - pretty funny. Finally one and 1/2 hours later I was on my way with Rick Hessek to tackle Handies.

Grouse to Sherman - 4.26
As I started the climb up to Handies my legs were surprisingly springy. I thought maybe from the adrenaline so I wanted to get to Sherman as quickly as possible to re-fuel. Rick and I made it up Handies in 2 hours 10 minutes - pretty fast. It was cold up there so we made our way down quickly and then the long slog down the dirt road to Sherman. Sherman is always one of the best aid stations because of the variety of food so I was looking forward to the breakfast burritos. 3:30 in the morning we pulled into Sherman, feeling better, and a sense of relief that I no longer had an agenda for time. I could care less if we were passed. I could care less if we passed anyone. I was gonna enjoy the rest of the experience of Hardrock. Krissy and Catherine were at Sherman as they just crewed Roch through. They were so helpful just talking and getting whatever I wanted - thank you ladies. I told them how I was inspired to get out of Grouse and Krissy nearly cried herself.

Sherman to Pole Creek - 3.11
A 1/2 an hour in Sherman was enough so Rick and I were off with a new spring in our step. It's a tough climb up to Cataract lake and tricky to stay on the trail sometimes so we were alert all the way up. At the top, the day finally broke and I was a new person. We had been running/walking with Tom Remkes and Brett Gosney - kind of cool. Not that we were talking a lot but it was nice to have company and share the experience. We all got into Pole Creek about the same time, spent about 10 minutes and then off to Maggie. Brett and I were going for our 5th finish so we really wanted to get to the rock to avoid the lottery for many years to come.

Pole Creek to Maggie - 1.26
Not much really happening in this section but it did bring new life. This section traverses the old Colorado Trail so I was eager to point out spots to Rick that I had been on the previous September, pretty special place. All the way to Maggie we doe-si-doed with Brett and Tom. My normal doe-si-doe partner, Jared Campbell, was out there winning a race so he was unavailable. Congrats Jared! A fine champion you are!

Maggie to Cunningham - 2.05
Ahh. Another aid station, another rest, and another Coke. This time I had two pieces of coffee cake that settled good in my stomach. I felt I was finally back with the true test on the legs to come on the final 3 climbs. Rather than linger anymore, I now wanted to get this thing over with, see my family, and go watch a World Cup final. I blasted up the hill with Rick in tow. He commented on how well I was climbing and by the looks of how much distance I had put on the others I felt a little momentum. Just before Cunningham we spotted a runner but couldn't tell who, we tried to reel him in but apparently he was going at his own great pace. So into Cunningham we go with the entire crew cheering us in. From the dark depths of hell the night before to cheering, hootin and a hollerin in the new day - an amazing feeling!

Cunningham to Finish - 2.23
Now I felt on fire just like a habanero chili. For some reason I got it in my head that I wanted to have the fastest split of the day from Cunningham in. I pushed with everything I had with Jaxon's comment still echoing in ears. We reeled in John Anderson and Glenn Mackie who were battling their own down spots. And then up ahead I could see two more.... but I couldn't get them before the top of Little Dives. I have never been up that last climb so fast but I wanted to get it done - 56 minutes to be exact! Don't know if I had the fastest split in but I finally was feeling fast again. It only took 15 hours to come around but part of that was seeing Silverton and my family.

Walking to the Rock with the boys and Dale
photo courtesy of Catherine Mataisz

I will never forget Hardrock 2010 - never! Not only for my son picking me up and being such an inspiration, but my whole crew/family for believing in me. It was crushing to have such a colossal collapse but at the same time it taught me a lot about who I am and what I'm all about. Even though I didn't achieve my goal of setting a new PR, this finish was the most rewarding out of the 5 so far. I believe every time we toe that line we are attempting to create a better version of ourself in the process - I think I succeeded here.

I want to thank all those who played a part in this journey, primarily my wife who puts up with me for 8 months out of the year! My parents who travel around to see almost every race. My In Laws who put up with me and still go out of there way to accomadate. To the Darnold's (and fam) who also travel around to see my races and welcome us home to South Mineral CG every year.

So now starts the long year long process of how best to train for HR 2011. I will be back (even though I said would take a year off) and will be looking to make a better version of myself.

Blog has been stale

Sorry bout that. Silverton, Colorado isn't necessarily the best place for high speed internet. Been there for the better part of two weeks so for now I've got to get caught up on work and will post my tale of two races later tonight.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Silverton update

All is well here in Silverton. I have been on some solid runs and feel very strong right now, just gotta keep the momentum going for another week. I rolled into town on Wednesday night and immediately got up to Grant-Swamp and back to South Mineral (1.33). The next morning I headed up Porcupine creek, across from KT aid station, and made it around the bowl to the top of the climb (2.27). Today I started at Grouse, headed up to Handies and back (2.33). Today was probably the most rewarding run thus far with the views atop Handies. Not much snow anywhere, a few snow banks but nothing like the last time we ran this direction. No pictures because I left the camera with Nicole. Not really sure on the mileage but up here it's more about time on your feet than anything else.

Last, my thoughts and prayers are with little Beckam, Nicole's nephew. He's been in the hospital for the last couple of days with a fever and kidney issues. Be strong little Beckam!