Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

22 myles - 2.41:25

Wildcat Ridge - 2 PM
30s, clear, a little windy
mind/body - good
easy effort

Last run before the snipity-snip so I made 4 loops of this course - 40:33, 40:38, 40:24, 39:48. Initially I thought I'd make this my very own Fat Ass 50K (since I'm going to miss El Chubbo Grande) but just ran out of time and energy. Felt decent with a 7:20 pace and relatively flat with only 800 ft of climbing.

The pamphlet for the procedure said only 5 days away from exercise but the doc says two weeks. Maybe better to adhere to the doc and in the meantime become easily agitated and gain 20 pounds. Better watch what I eat.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

8.5 myles - 1.02:41

Lone Tree + loop - 8:30 AM
30s, clear, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

Just plugging along here and feeling good. 64 myles on the week and 2928 on the year. I'm trying to get to 3000 before Wednesday but I don't think that's going to happen unless I come up with some crazy 50 mile run on Tuesday night. Hmm...

My feet are a little sore but that's only because I've been running in the new Peak IIs, which is more of a light weight trail racer. I'm used to more of a padded shoe, like the Fuel XC, so I'm just conditioning/strengthening my feet to get comfortable in these new Peak IIs. And just a word of caution: If you are used to a beefier shoe, don't expect to go to any type of minimalist shoe and run in it all the time for long distances without some sort of discomfort or even worse - injury. Work your way up in time and distance in a shoe that is considered minimalist in nature.

These will be available mid 2011 and if you liked the 1st edition of the Peaks then you'll love these! Some changes: A more aggressive lugged sole, more durable upper, stiffer toe cap, gusseted tongue, and a more defined heal drop (not sure exactly how much) - all coming in at ~9.5 oz.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

14 myles - 2.13:23

Alderfer/3 sisters - 8 AM
20s, clear, mostly dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

Nice little jaunt starting in Evergreen this morning with The Runner's Edge group and Good Ben. I initially planned to go to the Springs with CRUD but elected for the shorter drive and more time to sleep in. Man, was I rewarded with some really nice single track on a calm and blue bird day! I don't remember the exact trails other than starting on the Dedisse trail and finishing on Evergreen mountain - out and back. Dave Manthey had quite a group assembled this morning -probably 30 or so while the course was marked with spray painted arrows and 3 water stops along the way. JP I know I was in your hood so I apologize for not dropping you a line but I'll be back for sure. Very nice trails you have up there!

Also got out yesterday for 14 (2.08:58) at Deer Creek, while Jaxon and his Grandfather got in 10 of their own. And it was absolutely beautiful as well! These two days I have really taken a step back to realize how lucky I am to run in such beautiful country. Not only that, to be healthy enough to enjoy it on a regular basis. Now I'm pretty sure I'm being just a wee bit sentimental here because Wednesday is fast approaching and I will be yearning for the trail for a couple of weeks. So since I'm gonna be laid up I bought 3 books that were on my list: The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, and Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Day 5K - 27:15

Jaxon and I ventured out for our second annual Turkey Day 5K put on by Highlands Ranch Rec. department. And it was cold! Despite the sun shining it was single digits to start but after our 2 mile warm up we were ready to go with a little sweat. Last year Jaxon did 29:08 and this year he beat his record by 2 minutes - clocking a 27:15. Congratulations Jaxon - proud of you once again! Sorry you had a side ache...

Pearl Izumi kept us nice and warm despite the single digits

After the race I went out to my 10K loop (11 myles total for the day) because the thought of my appointment next Wednesday made me realize I need to log some myles before then. After the "minor" surgery I can't do anything for two weeks so I might as well make the most of the next few days. Hope you all had a nice feast today with family and friends.

BTW - if your looking for some gloves to keep you warm on your runs this winter check out Pearl Izumi's PRO Softshell lite. Plenty warm for the coldest temperatures.

P.R.O. Softshell Lite Glove - WhiteP.R.O. Softshell Lite Glove - White

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

11 myles - 1.17:53

Wildcat Ridge - 9:00 AM
20s, cloudy, still dry
mind/body - very good
easy effort

NEWS FLASH: Scheduled my vasectomy for December 1st @ 11:30 AM - yikes! But gotta git'er done sooner than later.

Not much exciting happening on the running front, just getting out moving the blood around. I got out Monday for 6 (7:15s) and today for 11 (7:14s) - body feels good, mind seems refreshed, and the pace seems easy. But I need to be careful not to jump into the training regimen too quickly. Grae Van Hooser left a comment that serves as a good reminder - It's a long year and with the races I have coming up I would be better suited taking it easy in the winter. I stated this right before MMTR but how quickly I forget. Speaking of schedules, Pearl Izumi announced the races they would like us to participate in for 2011:
Certainly I can't do all of them but I will base my 2011 season around these races. In particular, the two races I am focusing on are Western States and UTMB (lottery). Outside of that I will use the other races to put me in the best condition to perform at the focus events. Because of this directive you can bet there will be a heavy presence of Pearl Izumi athletes and execs. at these events. On the down side, they decided not to do a PI race series because time was short. I won't promise a series in the future but I think we got the ball rolling for something in 2012.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

8 myles - 57:53

HR urban trails - 8 AM
40s, North wind, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

Today capped off a 35 mile week; running 4 times, feeling really good each time. I caught myself several times wanting to push the pace but reeled it back each time and made a casual run out of it. Nothing definitive on the racing schedule yet because I'm waiting for PI to finalize their schedule of races they want us to run. Bandera is looking like it's not gonna happen for me right now. I promised my wife I would take care of something in the off season, in which case I would not have time to ramp up to Bandera. To fill in (and if recovery is short) I may go to Rocky Raccoon, and that's a big "may". The big lure is racing the old guys like Joe Kulak and AJW. Other races I'm thinking about early are: Mt. Cheaha 50k, Chuckanut 50K, WTC 50K, and Buffalo 50 mile.

A big congratulations to my mother who ran 2.16 in the Mesquite 1/2 marathon on Saturday. Growing up my mother was not a runner (at least she didn't do it) and just picked this up two years ago. I cannot tell you how proud of her I am!! She called me after the race and she was disappointed, she wanted to go under two hours but the wind was too strong. And she wonders why I keep going back?? I'm sorry mom but you are hooked - keep it up!

Earlier in the week Jaxon had a blessing brunch at his school. The parent's were allowed to come in and share something special about their children. Here is a little video I put together. I was afraid I would not make it through a talk because I (and Nicole) have a tendency to wear our emotions on our sleeves and I didn't want to embarrass Jaxon.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

8.5 myles - 1.02:01

Lone Tree + loop - 8 AM
40s, clear, some snow
mind/body - refreshed
easy effort

Felt great this morning! It was nice to be out there with no agenda, just ran as far or short as I wanted. Last week I put in a smashing 11 myles, ate lots of bad food, and drank lots of good beer. Now the mind is already thinking of ramping it back up because I'm leaning towards Bandera 100K on January 8th. If I do, I've gotta get back on to a regimented training schedule by Thanksgiving if it's going to happen.

If you missed the Red Bull Human Express on Sunday, check this out.

Also good luck to my Mother who will be running a 1/2 marathon in Mesquite, NV on Saturday. PR Mom!

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's that time of year

Rest. The hardest part - believe it or not. I'm fit but tired. In past years I've tried to maintain my fitness without a break but have paid dearly with injuries later the next year. To top it off, I'm an official Master's runner now so the down time is vital to make it through next year. Especially considering the schedule I'm looking at.

NEW: Mackenzie Lobby from Running Times writes an article on MMTR.

Nothing set in stone except for one race, and that is The almighty Western States. I used my auto entry from MMTR and signed up this morning. Now the question is what do I want to do to build to WS?? Hmm.... As it stands right now my goal for 2011 would be to win the Montrail Ultra Cup. That means my schedule would center around all the MUC races such as: Bandera, Mt Cheaha, Way Too Cool, American River, and Ice Age. Outside of that the tough decision comes when I have to decide on Hard Rock, my favorite race. This might be the year I skip Hard Rock (because I won't be able to race it) and go for UTMB, another one on the list.

So for the next month I'll keep the blood flowing with 20-30 mile weeks, during which time I will solidify my schedule. It always comes together so I'm not too worried about it. Just time to try and relax both mentally and physically - by far the hardest part.

Also I updated my top 3 beer list. Terrapin Hopsecutioner makes the list, bumping off Gubna. Yes Gubna has been my fav. for a while but truth be told; I only had it on draft and last week I bought some cans and did not like it as much. Besides Terrapin's mascot is a vicious looking turtle. This list is getting tough! During my down time I might have to make it a top 5 or 10. C'mon now - Stone IPA or Modus Hoperandi isn't even on the list.

btw - thank you for all the comments on the MMTR post. I've been traveling so I haven't had time to respond but I appreciate all the kind words and the people I met in Virginia.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

MMTR 50 mile - 1st place 7.23:19

I'm pretty good about knowing what I'm capable of and this race is just confirmation. Going in to this race I predicted mid 7.20s. I had clocked a 7.52 5 years ago and I knew my training combined with experience would put at least 1/2 hour into the time bank.

Dave Horton invited me to stay at his house so he sent one of his students, Jaime (hime) to pick me up. He thought with our names we'd make an instant connection, which we did. He took me straight to Liberty University where Horton was teaching his class and promptly put me in front of them... uhhh.... On the spot I didn't have anything to say and maybe that was the point because Horton didn't want me to dig up all the dirt. Anyway, I joined them on their daily run up and around a local peak up to 1700 ft - good for the jet lagged legs. It was nice to get to know the kids and see how they idolize him and most of all to see the environment Horton has built at Liberty. Not only Liberty but the whole city of Lynchburg.

After all the pre-race festivities it was time to start thinking about the race and here's how it played out:

The morning of the race (3:30 AM EST) I was suprisingly alert yet calm. Maybe it was all that O2 in the air but I had a good feeling about this race. And not to be crude but part of the pre-race success is getting everything moving in the system (aka a BM) - got that taken care of relatively early so things were clicking. Took the bus out to the start and I was bundled up in 3 different layers. Snow was forecasted with highs in the 30s where we were going. After the warm up I stripped down, taking a chance that I would be moving thus avoiding any chill - good call.

I gotta admit, I forgot how runnable this course is. The start of the race up through mile 6 is all asphalt and fast. I ran very relaxed and tucked in behind the lead group of about 10. When it got light enough I started to observe tendancies (ie who was running hard up/down and who looked uncomfortable). I hate to say it but I felt 8 of the 10 were strapping themselves to stay out there either on the up or down. That really made me settle in and wait till the half way point and see who's left. By the time we got to the 14 mile aid the group was wittled down to 4 with me about 20 yards back. Horton commented "this is exactly where you should be". By the time we reached the 22 mile aid station there were two guys in front by 10 yards and now the hills start. One guy, Alex Barth, had started to make a gap as soon as the rolling hills started, I chased him and noticed he kept looking over his shoulder. That told me that he was trying to make a gap and yet I was keeping a steady pace over the same gap. Finally, the last longish uphill he started to walk and said "man, where you from?" "Colorado" "oh, well, now that makes perfect sense".

Getting into the halfway point in 3.40 was a little slower than I wanted but that was part of me waiting to see what was going to happen out front. I had run everything up to this point and with how good I was feeling I had every intention of running everything else. As I left the halfway point it starts climbing with the biggest climb of the day and Horton stopped me in my tracks and said "be smart". A runner can really blow up here and I understood that but as good as I was feeling climbing I decided to run every step. It hurt a little but I later found out that I'd made 10 minutes on the next runner. Five myles later entering the loop at 4.45, I had 13 minutes so the gap was growing and I was feeling strong and steady. I ran the loop in 46 with most everything snow covered, which means the white trail markers were harder to follow. I exited the loop and was very shocked to see Jeremy Ramsey in street clothes. He was going to be the main competition but had suffered some sort of sciatica and had terrible pain shooting down his hammy's. If Jeremy had still been racing I believe the winning time would have been lowered by another 5 or 10 minutes for the sake of pushing each other.

For the next 4 or 5 myles was rolling dirt road and I was building steam, charging up the hills and letting it fly on the downs. I thought I had a shot for a 7.10ish finish so that was a little motivation. I arrived at the mile 43 aid in 5.57 and 7.10 was still in touch but then I realized I was running "Horton myles" over the last 7.... which translates into 9 or so. Getting to the last aid in 6.44 and only 2.9 "Horton myles" I knew (from past experience) would take around 45 minutes - all down hill. Sure enough 44 minutes later I finished and feeling very strong.

In the end, I was steady all day. I ran everything, save it a 20 yard section around mile 45, but running everything was the key to clocking a decent time. As far as nutrition is concerned, I diluted 4 EFS liquid shots in water and that is it for the entire day. Each aid I drank one full cup of water, knowing it was cold and harder to drink. I want to thank Horton and his wife, Clark Zealand, Horton's entire running class, and all the aid station volunteers. This race is a classic and must be put on the list. Coming from the West, running on the East is totally different experience and always a treat.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

9 myles - 1.50

Green Mountain - 9:30 AM
60s, clear, dry
mind/body - ready to go!
easy effort

Met up with Nick Clark and Pedatella for some fun. With MMTR coming up this Saturday I wanted to keep it real mellow, which the Nick's complied with for the most part (albeit 2667 of climbing). But running and trying to talk while getting up Green is pretty taxing on the lungs so I'll chalk this one up to an "anaerobic workout" - so to speak. Didn't really want to be out this long but it was good conversation and company so I didn't mind. I'm ready to go!

As mentioned before, I feel like I can hit the mid to low 7s but with the impending weather it might slow things up. Snow doesn't bother me here in the West but on the East coast it seems to get you wet and chill to the bone. Fun times. I will tweet from the finish if I have cell reception.