Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

11 myles - 1.17:02

Coyote Ridge - 7 AM
50s, clear, dry
mind/body - still feeling solid
easy effort

I've been walking Jaxon to school in the morning so it's been an easy spring board to get the run in from there. The chill is in the air, as was apparent yesterday at 14K, but it sparks some sort of motivation for me. A mere 7:03 pace today with 1000 ft of climbing and felt great doing it. I hope to hit somewhere between 90 and 100 for the week (290 for August and 2122 for the year) and start a slight taper from there for The Bear. On Thursday Tim Long and I are going to do 41 on the Colorado Trail starting at 6 AM at Indian Creek TH. My wife will pick us up at Wellington lake road. Come along and get some good myles in for a fall race.

On another note, I've been toying around with my watch and yesterday as I sat on the top of Mt Bierstadt with Tim (and his Timex GPS watch) we talked about GPS vs. barometric elevation. I had thought barometric was more accurate but didn't know why... I emailed Rick Merriman this morning and here is his explanation that makes total sense:

GPS is always the most accurate if it's getting a good signal. The reason is because the signal is simply sending stored data to the watch. The watch isn't calculating anything it's just receiving data that has been stored in the satellite sending it.
Your barometric pressure watch takes a pressure reading, then calculates what the altitude will be. So, since pressure changes in a spot, then the altitude reading will change slightly as well. These changes are very little though. The pressure on top of Mt. Bierstadt will be different today than it was yesterday so it's possible that if you went up again your altimeter would say something different than 13,923. However, it will be less than 100' difference way up at 14,000'. Barometer watches offer some important things that GPS watches cannot. 1) They don't need a signal, barometric pressure is everywhere so the watch can always calculate. 2) Battery power on GPS is always an issue, just about 8 hours, while the barometer watch uses a basic watch battery lasting about 2 years. So power and signal are pretty important and GPS watches can have issues with these 2 things.

So my take on this is that barometric is better for trail runners who are running in the trees for a long time. If you've got a clear view of the sky for a shorter run then GPS may be the way to go. For me, barometric make more sense.

Monday, August 30, 2010

7.2 myles - 1.46:37

Mt Bierstadt - 7:00 AM
40s to 60s, occasional cloud, dry
mind/body - strong
hard effort

Made a quick trip up to Bierstadt via 287 with Tim Hola. My 6th 14er and Tim's 7th. Tim is training for his umpteenth Ironman Hawaii so this was a rare opportunity to get out and climb a mountain with him - good times my friend!

My initial goal was to run every step to the top... I quickly re-evaluated the situation at 12,800 ft and decided I was actually hiking faster than my 'so called' run/shuffle. We started from the upper parking lot and made quick work of the summit in 59:45. Didn't descend much faster (46:52) but that's OK because in my mind the work was done getting to the top. Such a beautiful morning with lots of people out for a Monday.

Tim decided to skin up his knee as a memory of Bierstadt

Me and my Semi-Pro headband and old school PI track jacket

Sunday, August 29, 2010

14 myles - 1.47:06

HR urban trails
70s, clear, dry
mind/body - sharp/strong
easy effort

I wasn't going to run today but as I was doing my usually morning routine (drinking coffee and perusing through ultra stuff), I was extremely motivated by Christian Johnson strong performance at The Cascade Crest 100. Christian finished 5th in a time of 21.03, really nice job Christian! What makes this even more special than just a great time is that he is coming off knee surgery just 4 months ago. You are back my friend!

As far as my run, I thought my mojo would wear off 30 or 40 minutes into the run but I kept buzzing so I just kept running. I am in some sort of a good groove right now and I have to go with it. Hopefully it will last through the end of this month. 67 myles for the week after a race is better than I've ever done. Next week I hope to hit the mid 90s and taper from there. Speaking of next week, Thursday will be my one year anniversary to starting the CT so I am planning something big for that day. I'm thinking I will do the first 3 segments of the CT thru Wellington lake road and then have my wife come pick me up. Billed as 41 myles in the CT book and will probably take 7 hours. Guess I'll consider that my birthday run too... Anyone want to join me?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

30 myles - 4.59:16

Indian Creek/CT - 6 AM
60s to 80s, mostly clear, dry
mind/body - solid
easy effort

Well I finally got out on a run with Footfeathers. Which means I finally met him after two years of email and blog comments, nice to me you Tim. Actually met up with Footfeathers and Rick Hessek early this morning at the Rampart Range parking lot. We had a solid run on 100% pristine single track and all to ourselves (I might add). Indian Creek is the temporary start of the CT while they have Waterton closed. Kind of confusing to start as they don't have a lot of signage up for the CT but we managed to find our way around. We honestly didn't see another person until the final two myles. As far as my body, I felt solid all day. I was a little nervous going this long so soon after a race but my body responded well. Just the confidence I needed to sign up for The Bear. In all 4711 ft of climbing in a lolly pop fashion, making it to the South Platte river overlook on segment 1 of the CT. If you get a chance to get out to Indian Creek, do it soon before people catch on. You will have some of the best single track all to yourself.

Nice running Tim and Rick, let's do something again before The Bear.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

9 myles - 1.04:03

Lone Tree + loop - 8:00 AM
60s, clear, dry
mind/body - positive/good
easy effort

Two days in a row feeling good - a positive sign to get back on track. I took the watch today just to verify my pace (7:07) was as good as it feels. Maybe it was all those tasty Cokes after the race that put me back on the right track... or was it the Laurelwood and Rogue IPAs?? Either way things are looking up. My only stumbling block now going into the Bear is that I have a week long meeting in downtown LA the week prior to.... maybe the rest will be good.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Beard

I think a beard will help....

Ha, go figure.... got out for 6.2 myles this morning and felt GREAT! One of those runs where you get the little tingles in your head and the world is a perfect place. No soreness or stiffness. AND left the watch at home (thanks for the advice Darren). Trying to put the 'fun' back into this shee-ite!

I just happened to look over the Grand Slammer list and noticed Neal Gorman is quietly making a run at the record. Joe Kulak's record pace thru Leadville was 53.13:50. Neal Gorman is 53.35:05, just 21:15 behind JK. For the record Neal Gorman must run 21.31:44 at Wasatch. Good luck Neal!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Where's Waldo - 10.52 11th place

Rather than a full detailed report I decided to jot down a few random thoughts and let you have fun putting them together. Post a comment if something doesn't make sense.

Oregon is green and beautiful - Everyone in Eugene loves the ducks and has a beard (I mean everyone!) - It's pronounced Wil-LAM-ette and not Willamette - If you feel like junk going into the race, you will probably feel like junk during the race - ExLax takes 12 hours to work - Linda Barton did not need the early start, she did just fine - I have a lot of strength and no endurance right now - my expectations were under 10 - S Caps don't work for me - Where's Waldo is one of the best races I've run (course, course marking, volunteers, and beauty) - Mark Lantz, Erik Skaden, Jace Ives, Victor Ballesteros, Craig Thronley, Grae Van Hoosier, Ashley and Josh Nordell, Linda Barton, Lewis Taylor, Dan Olmstead (and wife), Tim Olsen (and girlfriend?), all cool people! - Tim Olsen stole a Patagonia backpack and sweater from me - Did I mention ExLax takes 12 hours to work? - My wife is really cool for letting me spend money and not bring any home - Tim Olsen and Dan Olmstead ran stellar races - I am in some sort of funk right now - AJW's voice prevented me from DNFing at mile 20.5 - The Angel/Devil thing at The Twins A.S. was really cool and well thought out - I didn't have as much fun as I wanted to - Maiden peak is not that big of a climb (after Hard Rock) - I drank 5 cokes post race - I need to sort some things out as far as running goes - The Bear 100 is in jeopardy....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

8 myles - 57:11

HR urban trails - 4:00 PM
90s, clear, and very dry
mind/body - I thought good until I started to run
seemed like a hard effort

Man - I felt like junk today! No explanation whatsoever. I thought (if anything) I would be wanting to get after it. So now my confidence is rattled a bit and because I made the statement yesterday "I've been doing the same workouts leading up to Miwok last year", I had to go back and double check. As I dug a little deeper into the workouts last year, I noticed my mileage was less but each workout had an element of quality, meaning some sort of 5:50 pace associated with it. That caused my confidence to sink a little more. So be it. Nothing I can do about it now. Just get to the race and give it what I've got, confidence or not I will have fun! Twitter updates here for the race

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

6.2 myles - 44:34

Lone Tree loop - 5:00 AM
60s, clear, dry
mind/body - feeling really good
easy effort

I thought I was going faster than that (7:11 pace) but it's early so I'll take it. My body seems really refreshed after taking two days off in a row. I've been getting 6 days a week in since Hardrock and feel I've been wearing myself out a little too much. I looked back at my prep for Miwok last year and was happy to see I'm doing the same types of workouts with similar times now so hopefully the outcome will be the same, if not better. We shall see.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

16 myles - 1.59:48

Lone Tree + Wildcat Ridge - 8:00 AM
60s, clear, dry
mind/body - focused/strong
easy effort

Recently my Mom has picked up running. Growing up, she thought I was crazy but I think she's caught the bug. Today I had the opportunity to run with her for a bit, so it was an extra special run. She's training for the Hobble Creek 1/2 marathon next week so she did a 7 mile loop while I did my 2 hour route. Nice and easy to begin and then slowly picked it up as the run went on - 7:29 pace. Not a blazing run but this is the best (and fresh) I've felt in a long time.

On another note I've been trying out a new watch. It's the Highgear Alterra, lots of features but still learning all of them. I used the altimeter today (barometric pressure) to get a sense of the elevation gain this route has in it - 1342 ft of climbing. The watch also gives you total time during this log. The downside is that you can't see running time while using the altimeter, only after the workout is over.

It looks as though AJW has entered the 3rd leg of the Grand Slam. Is he going after the record? Officially or unofficially, I don't know?? Deadline for entry was June 23rd. Joe Kulak's record pace through the first 1/2 is 33.10:25, AJW is currently 33.33:05. What's the latest AJW?
WS 18.14:59 17.31:25
VT 14.55:26 16.01:40
Pb 20.03:25

Post run with Mom

Friday, August 13, 2010

6 myles - 42:35

Grigs - 8:00 AM
80s, clear, dry
easy effort

It's getting to be that time of year when the chill fills the morning air. Not really chill but maybe more of a coolness - my favorite time of the year.

A little leg turnover this morning on my normal Grigs hill (x3) - 1:11, 1:09, 1:07. Didn't feel the quickest but still solid. And just to keep the legs honest, I made the last mile a tempo effort - 6:11. I also ran yesterday, 8 myles 59:56, but didn't want to bore you cause I had nothing to say... kinda like today. 35 myles for the week so far. I will get out for 14 tomorrow and then take a couple days off in a row, my standard taper. Here is a press release for Where's Waldo next week.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

10 myles - 1.32:13

Mt. Falcon v0.75 - 1:00 PM
90s, clear, dry
mind/body - not into it
easy effort

After being in meetings for 2 and 1/2 days it was nice to be out on the trail. Felt good to start (albeit hot) and was climbing well.... that didn't last too long as the food and beverage from the meeting soon caught up to me. I always go into these meetings thinking "I'm gonna be better this time" and it never happens. The food is just too good to pass up and the free beverage to boot, well that's a no brainer. At any rate, I made it to the end of Turkey Trot in 18 flat and then the shelter in 30:40. After that just kind of coasted around Parmalee and came straight back down. Now I've got the sludge out of my system, tomorrow should be better.

Monday, August 9, 2010

10 myles - 1.11:39

Daniels Park - 7:00 AM
60s, clear, overnight rain
mind/body - good
easy effort

I dropped Jaxon off at school this morning... first day of middle school that is. I remember my first day of Junior High, pretty nerve racking. Jaxon must have felt the same way because he forgot everything he was supposed to bring with him today, including his schedule. At any rate, he's excited to be back in school and I'm excited for him. Growing up fast!

My run this morning was the average, every day run: 7:09 pace without much effort. I also ran yesterday, 16 myles in 1.53 so I've had some decent mileage over the last couple of weeks leading into this taper, 85 and 66 respectively. This week I'll be in meetings which will limit my runs but I hope to get at least 55 myles and then 30 something the week of Where's Waldo. I started looking at the course for Where's Waldo for the first time yesterday, there is some pretty good climbing in there. Looking forward to it!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bair Gutsman - 1.51:21 2nd place

This race was definitely a spur of the moment decision. In fact, we didn't tell anyone we were coming. Believe it or not the Bair Gutsman was not only my first trail race but my first race ever 30 YEARS AGO! I know, hard to believe but I did the Bair Gutsman in 1980 when I was 10 years old and then again a year later. So we drove the 8 hours on Friday morning, ran the race Saturday morning, then drove back yesterday. Whirl wind trip but fun to see family and friends.
Shane Martin and I post race

Here's how the race shook out:

About 250 people lined up at the church on mountain road in Fruit Heights. It's about a mile and 1/2 on the road (uphill) before the single track started. This allows for runners to spread out and avoid congestion, for the most part. Right from the start I knew I would be battling with a bunch of local high school runners to get to the trail first... As much as I tried to get out in front we went through the first mile in 6:20 (uphill) and I was forced to get behind 12 of them at the start of the very narrow single track.

Even before the race started I knew I would have to beat all of them up the 4700 ft climb by at least a minute in order to have any chance of winning. Because once you hit the top, it's another 6 mile decent on smooth dirt road (high school runners have more leg speed than a 40 y.o.) to the finish.

Sure enough about 20 minutes into the climb, the guys in front started to walk/hike which made it real slow 12 places back. So I took advantage of two small stream crossings; as they tried to tip toe across, I plowed through the water, leap frogging all them but one. 35 minutes into the climb I was all alone with one other guy, Jared Ward. Turns out, Jared Ward runs track for BYU in the 5 and 10,000 meters and has cranked out a sub 30 10K. I didn't know it at the time but I could not get rid of him on the steepest of climbs. I was running everything and as soon as I gapped him, he would sprint back up to me in no time at all. By the top (4690 elevation gain - 6 myles), I had 15 seconds on him and at least 2 minutes on the eventual 3rd place guy. I hit the top in 1.17:03.

Now for the hard part, just letting the legs spin as fast as they can. This part of the race shares the same road (Francis Peak) as the Wasatch 100 all the way down to the green shed. It drops ~2000 ft in 6 myles, so not too steep. Even though I had been doing speed work I knew I needed more than 15 seconds to beat a college or high school aged kid. Sure enough Jared passed me just after the first mile on the decent. I gave everything I had to stay with him but my legs would not carry me any faster. My time for the final 6 myles was 34:18 (5:43 pace) and Jared still beat me by 50 seconds, 1.50:27. Both of us, however, crushed the previous CR by 9 minutes. ....or maybe not. Results are hard to come by online so this CR was just word of mouth.

Top 10 - look at all this youth! Good to see on the trail.

This link will give you a birds eye view of the course. However, the end was different in the actual race, as this link shows 13.13 myles, probably more between 11 and 12. Results here.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

8 myles - 59:56

Daniels Park - 6:00 AM
60s, clear, dry
mind/body - really good
easy effort

I felt great this morning and was cruising along, thinking I was sub 7 pace.... whot. what. whahhh.... Doh - 7:36 for the first mile. In contrast, isn't it funny how other days you feel like crap thinking the worst and you really are cruising sub 7 pace, go figure. I think I would rather feel good and go slow than fast and crappy. (mental note for my next 100 miler...) AJW sent me a text last night thinking I should go to Ireland and then shoot for 23.55 at Da Bear. And just for the record, I don't think Ireland is gonna happen for me. More to come on that.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

13 myles - 1.48:27

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

Just cruised around Deer Creek this morning - very nice, cool morning. 3400 ft of climbing on mostly all single track. One of my favorite single track sections of all time is on the back side (hiker only trail) called The Homesteader, it's short but man is it nice! My best time is 1.45:10 on this full loop so today to be within striking distance of that time with relative ease is a good sign. I certainly feel the speed work help with cruising at a faster pace.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

7 myles - track

Rock Canyon track - 7:00 AM
70s, clear, dry
mind/body - good
hard effort

Not quite Yasso 800s but good enough for me. 2 mile warm up and cool down, 6 x 800 m: 2:44 :43 :43 :42 :43 :42. My goal was 2:45s so I'm happy with the result. Last time I did this workout in February my average was 2:35 so I've slipped a little but I'm getting back there. In between one of my sets, a couple girls were walking around, probably 13 or 14 years old. I overheard one of the girls (heavy set) say to the other "Yeah I'm gonna try to get in shape to make the cross country team and if I make it then my Mom is gonna stop smoking...." Wow. Mom doesn't get it.

Monday, August 2, 2010

11 myles - 1.18:59

Coyote Ridge - 7:00 AM
70s, clear, dry
mind/body - slow to start
easy effort

I was informed by "good Ben" that this route is not called Coyote Ridge but the real name escapes me right now. Help me out again Ben? Anyhow I had a decent run this morning, not pushing the pace but feeling really comfortable - 7:10s. I am contemplating a race this coming weekend but won't say until I know for sure. I did that with Ireland and now the odds of me going are going from slim to none... Even though the IAU is giving us 400 euros and 5 nights accommodation, airfare is outrageous right now. The USATF helped out last year but elected to support the 100K and 24 hour teams this year - bummer but happy they are stepping into the ultra scene financially.

The picture I posted yesterday I ripped off the FKT site set up by Peter Bakwin. The cats in the picture from L to R are: Brandon Sybrowski, A very young looking Ian Torrence, Stephanie Erhet, Paul Pomeroy, and Peter Bakwin on the White Rim Trail back in 2002.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

8 myles - 1.05:08

Lone Tree loop - 8:00 AM
80s, clear, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

Just a shake out of the legs today. I felt like today was just as an important run mentally and physically as yesterday. I didn't want to run (mentally) but once I got going I was fluid - 8:08 pace today. Really good week for me; 83 myles with one track workout and one tempo run. Still waiting on a couple details to work out for Ireland but the longer they take the slimmer the chance of me going.

Check out this photo. The two guys on the left inspired me 7 years ago to jump into ultras. Care to comment Carolyn?

Can you name everyone? Where? What year?