Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Friday, December 31, 2010

11 myles - 1.39:07

Wildcat Ridge - 11 AM
below 10 degrees, 5" snow, socked in
mind/body - peaceful/good
easy effort

Wasn't worried about anything but getting through the snow this morning. HR, pace, effort - didn't matter. For some reason it's always much more peaceful after a snowfall, regardless of the temperatures. I know I was working hard but my HR only maxed out at 160, probably due to all the slipping I was doing on the cold snow.

So for 2010 I logged 3117.37 myles, second most in a calendar year for me. That comes out to just over 8.5 myles a day. But considering I didn't run 114 days, I averaged 12.4 myles/run over 251 days. Last year I logged 3288 (most) only because of the 500 mile trek to Durango in September. Since 2004, when I started running ultras, I've logged 18,367 myles. I have no idea how many myles before that but considering I ran my first marathon at age 11 it's probably near 30,000 for a lifetime, if not a little more. Pale in comparison to some but that's no matter. What matters is that I'm healthy, still be able to run, and enjoy it.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

10 myles - 1.18:31

HR backcountry loop - 9 AM
40s, clear @ start - snowing @ end
mind/body - good
easy effort

I let my HR monitor be my governor today, tried to keep it under 160 bpm despite the 1200 ft of climbing. For the most part I was successful, I did record 4 minutes @ 164 but still felt effortless. I started with blue skies and one hour later my legs and face were numb from the blowing snow - welcome to Colorado!

On another note, this guy below is open for pacing duties in 2011. I can hook you up with him if you are having trouble focusing on the trail. He guarantees a PR!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

13 myles - 1.47:53

Deer Creek - noon
50s, cloudy, windy
mind/body - good/sore heal
steady effort

Today was the true test for the GPS on the Timex Global Trainer. I thought I would download this workout and find straight lines all over the place because of the tree cover. To my amazement, it performed very well. The Global Trainer measured 12.66 myles, which is fairly close to the billed 13.1. I'm impressed. In regards to HR, I know there are HR training manuals out there but I'm not quite ready to dive into those just yet. I did, however, dissect my run with a more critical eye today: avg HR of 158, 57 minutes above 170, 12 minutes above 175, and 4 minutes at 179.

This past week I've been feeling motivated (again) to train. Could it be the power of the beard which has inspired? I'll never be as fast as those other guys with beards but maybe there's a secret power to beards.

Two weeks growth so I guess you can say I'm not your typical Mexican

This guy sported the best one in all of ultrarunning and he was fast. I think he used to store his gels in there.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

11 myles - 1.19:50

Wildcat Ridge - noon
50s, clear, dry
mind/body - good/tight hammys
easy effort

This new GPS Global Trainer is helping me map out all my local runs and giving me a good base for time. It'll be interesting to see what happens (as far as accuracy) when I get to the foothills and trees. So far really accurate compared to MapMyRun. Just about 1000 ft of climbing and a 7:18 pace while keeping the HR to an average of 159.

Signed up for the draw for UTMB today. Nick and I are planning on doing Sierre-Zinal on August 14th as well. Perfect timing to blow out the carbon, get acclimated, then tour the UTMB course for a week. All while vacationing with the family in Europe for the first time ever.

Monday, December 27, 2010

2 runs: 14 myles - 1.54

Track/Bluffs - 11/4
50s, little wind, mild
mind/body - good
hard/easy effort

I'm going to take full advantage of this week of not having to work. I figure I'll get a jump start on 2011. No better way to get it going than a 2-a-day. The latest Running Times has an article on training for a 50K in which I took the idea of getting a track workout followed by a late day shake out to help with recovery.

The late morning session (8 myles) was not too tough but really intended to get the ball rolling with 10 x 400s. My goal was 78s. Two mile w/u and c/d with 2 minutes or 200 meters (turned out to be the same) in between each 400. Check out all the details here. I was most surprised that I could only get my HR to about 165 on each one while hitting 77-78 each time, felt much higher than that. Run #2 (6 myles) was simply a shake out, trying to keep the HR below 160. Details here. I'm really getting into all these charts and graphs, pretty interesting with the different aspects once I start playing around with the fields.

On another note, I'm reading a book entitled "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan. If you are at all concerned about what you are shoving in your mouth you should pick up this book. I'm only 1/3 of the way through and so far he has talked about the history of nutrients, government, lobbyists, nutritionism, and most importantly The Western Diet. This book goes right along with my reasoning for boycotting Micky-Ds and other fast food chains.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

9 myles - 1.08:21

Bluffs plus - 8:30 AM
50s, clear, dry
mind/body - good
easy effort

I feel myself getting back into some sort of routine and rhythm. Here are the specifics of my workout. As I get into better shape it'll be interesting to see how my times come down on each of these routes and how I can use my heart rate to train more efficiently. I'm particularly interested to see how long I can keep my heart rate pegged as time goes on. I've never been one to use a HR monitor but I'll try it out and see how it goes. If anything I'll be able to give more educated feedback to Highgear.

Yesterday was a great day all around. After my run I took the boys over to Coyote Ridge skate park to try out their new bikes. Below are a few images I snapped.

Motorbike sounds

And a couple from the morning

Travis Pastrana autographed goggles - thanks Aric

Myles at his work bench

Saturday, December 25, 2010

10 myles - 1.14:21

HR backcountry - 1 PM
60s??, clear dry
mind/body - good/refreshed
easy, steady effort

My good friend Tim Hola hooked me up with the Timex GPS global trainer so I've been messing around with it for the last couple of days. It took some getting used to but I find it very handy when everything can be downloaded to the computer and it spits out a bunch of fancy graphs and routes. I'm still learning how to get the graphs and charts to come up on my blog but I'll figure it out. Until then you can go to the link below to see the details of my workout. Pretty interesting stuff, at least to me.

Graphs, Charts, and map from the run that you can play around and see how hard (or not) I was working.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas week 2010

Just got back home from a very enjoyable week with the family in Breckenridge.

Probably the best single week of skiing I've had in my life. And there have been quite a few good ones. Nothing tops watching the boys ski! Myles was smiling from ear to ear every time he got on the magic carpet and then bolted straight down, "gain Daddy, faster".

That wore off quickly as he got bored and wanted something bigger....

And up the chair lift we went, just laughing all the way up. Jaxon really impressed me as well. Cautious in the beginning but by Thursday I would look back only to find him screaming right past me.

All day Wednesday and Thursday he wanted the black diamonds. Thursday we put Myles in a lesson so that Nicole, Jaxon, and myself could explore the mountain together.

By 2:30 we had skied from one side of the resort to the other so we went back to watch Myles in his final hour of lesson. By the end of the lesson he had learned the pizza wedge (snow plow) - amazing! He was loving it and pushing his way to the front of the magic carpet line.

But like all 3 year olds, they move on pretty quick so it was off to the pool. Jaxon and I continued to ski while Mom and Myles went to the indoor pool. I also took some great video on my flip video camera so I will put a little montage together and post it.

Now on to the boring part - the running on the treadmill. Although I don't like the TM, I do find it useful in crafting a workout using a heart rate monitor. For instance, on Tuesday I wanted some hills with some leg speed intermixed while pushing my HR to the max. 3 sets of starting at 4% and 7MPH then increasing 1 point on each for 1/2 mile. Each time I made it to 6% and 9MPH while my HR max was 181. A few different various for Wednesday and Thursday but each time the result was 181 HR. I'm not 100% positive but I believe at altitude (10,000ft) it's easier to max out HR. At home (6230ft), I have a tough time getting it past 178 bpm. At any rate, 3 quality workouts with 20 myles and 3k of climbing.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

El Chubbo Pequeno - 3.54

This year Colorado joined the band wagon of a national series of unofficial races called The Fat Ass 50K prompted by Tony and adopted by Nick. The El Chubbo Grande was the first of two held on the "Nick Clark proving grounds" and it did not disappoint! No wonder Nick did so well this year, he's got some serious up and down right outside his door with many miles of secluded single track.

Nick organized 3 different distances of 22, 26, and 32, of which I chose the 22 mile (aka JV distance or Chubbo Pequeno). One and 1/2 weeks out from a minor procedure and little to no myles since then left me feeling fat and out of shape so a Fat Ass race was the perfect solution. In fact, I wasn't sure I would even make the shortest version with 5,500 feet of climbing!

Just under 50 people showed up leaving at 7, 8, or 9 in hopes of getting everyone back to join in the festivities around the same time. I chose the 9 start along with Dakota, Justin, Tim, Aaron, and a few others whose names escape me right now. I committed to taking it easy but quickly got swept up in the moment with Dakota and Justin because I wanted to chat. I knew I'd feel fine for at least two hours climbing but no guarantees after that. Sure enough, after the climb up Stout/Spring Creek to Towers road I was done. Justin and Dakota waited for me a few times but I felt bad so I urged them to go along without me. Both them were running everything and I just couldn't do it anymore. And to make matters worse, going downhill was a little jolting and shaking things up a bit (if you know what I mean).

All in all a good time. Got to hang out with some Boulder folks, some Colorado Springs folks, and some Ft Collins folks while drinking down some holiday cheer. And that's what makes the trail running community so cool! Nick did a great job getting all these folks together and marking the trail really well - thanks Nick! Pearl Izumi sent along some schwag for some giveaways and will do the same for the Ponderous Posterior 50K on January 15th, so thanks to them. I was a little surprised though, no one wanted to claim the prize for Fattest Ass in the end... Maybe we'll have to make the giveaway a little better next time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

6 myles - 45:24

HR urban trails - 8 AM
50s, clear, dry
mind/body - good/not so
easy effort

The weather was fantastic this morning! I felt amazing (initially) then that little niggle in the calf started to work it's way in play. How can that be when my running has been minimal? The only thing I can think of is that the pain meds after the minor procedure weakened my muscles. Not gonna worry about it too much since nothing is on the horizon.... that is, nothing but 3000 myles. I'm at 2991 and with the El Chubbo coming up this weekend I'll hit it no problem. Maybe the body is just sayin' "Simma down now!" The week of skiing next week with the family will take the edge off. Now starting in ernest in January for my run up to Western States and UTMB...

Speaking of "run up", I was looking at race websites and decided to take a look to see how many applicants were signed up for Hard Rock.... BIG MISTAKE! Mistake because I was trying to put HR out of mind for a year and just by looking at the entrants (from all over the world), and then all the awesome pictures, and then... well, one thing led to another and I found myself printing out the application. I can't help it! I am in love with the San Juans, and in particular, The Hard Rock 100. We'll see if I can resist the urge...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

9 myles - 1.05:02

Lone Tree Loop - 9 AM
30s, clear, dry
mind/body - not working for me today
easy effort

Very uncomfortable run this morning, not sure why since the body and mind are rested. Guess that's just how it goes sometimes. I also had a strange twinge in my calf that hurt all day but now is fine. Just the creaks of getting old huh?

I finally watched Super Size me. Wow! What a good reminder of how bad we eat here in the United States. This guy put on 17.5 lbs in 30 days with 10 of that coming in the first week. Which means the body stored as much as it could initially to preserve itself and then leveled out and adjusted to the calories coming in, ~5000/day. Also he found himself depressed most of the time and the only time he was happy was right after a meal, which made him want to eat more Micky-Ds. On top of all that his cholesterol shot straight through the roof, chest pain, and a fatty liver. Make no mistake about what is happening here in the U.S. with very powerful lobbyist in Washington protecting fast food. Things are NOT going to change unless YOU decide to boycott chains like Micky-Ds.

See if you can set a New Years resolution of not eating the big four: Mickey-Ds, Burger King, Wendy's, and Jack in the Box. Save your calories for beer....

Friday, December 10, 2010

10 myles - 1.15:51

HR Backcountry - 10:00 AM
50s, clear, dry
mind/body - refreshed
easy effort

Very nice relaxing run today (7:35 pace) while getting back into the groove. Also got out for 10.5 on Wednesday with Good Ben. Next week I will start to ramp it back up after having 4 weeks of relaxing. The El Chubbo Pequeno fun run on the 18th in Fort Collins will kick start training in full swing.

In the midst of lottery season right now and just got shut out of my first one this year - Massanutten 100. They have the funkiest lottery system I have ever seen but I guess it works. I have the option of signing up for the wait list but don't want to be held hostage when there's so many other races to run. In lieu, as back up plan B, I signed up for the Miwok lottery that happens on the 15th and also entered Squaw Peak 50. If Miwok falls through then plan C is to do the Pokey 20 mile and then SP 50. Make sense? So in other words, the only sure thing at this point is Western States, which is a bit of an irony.

Monday, December 6, 2010

6.2 myles - 51:15

Lone Tree loop - 12:30
50s, partly cloudy, dry
mind/body - ahhh....
easy effort

Very relaxing and revitalizing run today with Good Ben, thanks for the call Ben. First run since the dealeo with no complications. I'll ease back into little by little but I hope to running solid again by December 18th for El Chubbo Grande 50K in The Fort. A couple different distances going on so I'll make a last minute decision on which one based on feel. And then it's off to Breckenridge for a week of skiing.

Check out this video taken at The North Face 50 on Saturday. Pretty good coverage and kudos to Dakota for talking to that guy while he was just trying to concentrate on the finish.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lots of things going on

Recovery is good. Hardly any swelling and not sore. I'm tempted to run but at the same time it feels good to relax for a few days. The Doc gave me the go ahead to return to running after 5 days but to ease into it. Having said that, I'll take the rest of the week to be fat and happy while putting a dent into my beer fridge downstairs.

Some good racing going on this weekend with the The North Face 50 in San Francisco. Next to the Western States starting line up, this one has to be the most competitive. Some Euros coming over to take a stab at the $10K prize money for first. My picks are: Roes, Mackey, Skaggs, Steidl, Dakota, Jez Bragg. Pretty good interview over here with Dave and Dakota. Dave is munching on a apple and Dakota is amped up. I think Dakota summed it up nicely when asked for predictions, he said "I think I know how to race 50 miles now, last year I was still learning, and I just want to see how I stack up against the best". is following it so check it out.

My schedule is coming together:
UTMB (lottery)

There will be some smaller ones here and there but this is the bulk of my schedule for 2011. The highlight is Western States. Not so much for the race itself but the race within the race. I've been jawing back and forth with AJW (all in good fun of course) telling him I want to beat him. I'm not afraid to say that's my goal. My goals are generally time based but there's an element of time in here. You see, Andy has done very well at Western States and as he puts it "That's my house, you'll see...". Just as I consider Hard Rock "my house". He came to HR and nearly beat me. In fact, on Grant Swamp pass (mile 85) he could nearly touch me. I looked at my pacer (Brian Fisher) and said "He's not gonna beat me on my course", in so many words. In the end, he pushed me to my best time ever at Hard Rock (27.42).

Andy has 6 top 10 finishes at Western States with his best time of 17.07, but thinks he could go 16:30. Not only is he tough at Western States but he is tough in any 100 mile race - which makes it doubly tough at Western. He IS the Mariano Rivera of 100s. Andy has run 25 - 100 mile races notching 6 wins. I've run 11, won none, and only a couple that I consider a decent result. I have not figured out 100s and Andy has, to say the least. If I can compete with him then it not only makes me better during the race but in the daily training as well. Win or lose I know Andy will bring out the best in me and visa-versa.

I had to do a little research but we have raced head to head 8 times (sometimes unknowingly) where I have been victorious 6 times. The two losses where at White River 2006 and Rocky Raccoon 2008. So a rivalry is born! And at the end of the day we will have a beer together to talk more smack. Train harder than you ever have Andy cause I'm comin'!

And remember people, this is all in good fun for motivation to get my arse out the door every morning. But more importantly for braggin rights and a few beers.

Western States lottery: Only a few names I recognize on the list of 219 drawn today; Mike Foote, Michael Buchanan, Mark Lantz, Adam Lint, Tammy Massey, Jim Skaggs, and Grae Van Hoosier. Congrats to all! We'll see you in Squaw on June 25th, if not before. Pearl Izumi atheltes Josh Brimhall and Darcy Africa were shut out but I would suspect they will get in via a Montrail race.

NF 50 race: Congrats to all! In particular, Geoff Roes 2nd, Dave Mackey 3rd, Dakota Jones 4th, Jason Schlarb 5th all currently hailing from Colorado! Must be the rocky mountain air...