Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 18-24

Happy Pioneer day to those who celebrate it! I remember living in Utah and having this day as a vacation day. I guess no one in Utah is working tomorrow huh? I'll have a Modus Hoperandi and toast the Pioneers! This weekend was simply gorgeous here in Colorado. It was hot but manageable. I fully intended to get high this weekend with CRUD to avoid the heat but I just did not have the energy to drive anywhere. So I stayed close to home and enjoyed the foothills.
I spent the better part of the week in Santa Monica, CA - perfect training for the upcoming SpeedGoat 50K race... flat, super highway of a path on the beach, sea level. Just gotta laugh at the timing of that trip. I will tell you though that I am feeling quite strong right now despite the flatness of the week. For instance, at Deer Creek yesterday I managed 8:50 pace with nearly 5K of climbing. Somehow the desire and motivation has returned and not much time to spare before UTMB, which is a short 33 days away.

I am really looking forward to racing and seeing family and friends next week in Utah. Too bad I can't stay for the OR show. Here is my week in review:

Sunday - Grigs 8 myles

Total - 66 myles, 9997 ft of climbing, 8 hrs 33 mins

This past week I pulled some workouts from the Paul Dewitt files from yester-year. His approach was centered around quality and not quantity while incorporating some steeps. I think it's always a good idea to mix things up to make it fresh and that's all I'm doing here; trying to keep it fresh and exciting for this 41 year old soul.

And last I put this picture up because it's strange how cyclical things are in life. Soccer, which once was the life blood of my life, has re-entered in the form of Myles. He shows a lot of interest just kicking the ball around, putting on his soccer uniforms and such. Last week I did a skills session for one of my colleagues son (and friends) in Seward, NE, last night we went to a Rapids MLS game. I have a feeling the shift back to soccer is starting to happen again... I don't mind a'tall.
Sportin the Weber State Wildcats purple

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 11-17

Ola mi amigos! Finally get to put some thoughts to a blogpost. It's been a busy time for the past two weeks and for some reason I have been feeling extremely UNmotivated to run. There is no fire in my belly or any urgency to run. So apparently WS took all the wind out of my sail, more so than I first thought.

Every year I get lazy and just don't want to run but that usually happens around late September/early October. The routine has usually been to train for HR all summer, run HR, and then coast through August and September with a good base. Since no HR and WS being in June I have a feeling my mind has slipped into coast mode a little too soon. That is until I caught myself this morning while watching a replay of Ironman Hawaii. NBC knows how to produce stories that become tear jerkers. I love the will power of the human spirit. NBC needs to come and do a piece on Hard Rock, I guarantee there are stories that will inspire. So after watching and feeling inspired, I decided to get some uptempo/hill work in. It was a little test to see where my LT was sitting and I gotta say I'm a little disappointed. Check out the stats here. I usually make it up the hill (0.75 myles with 5% grade) in 5:10 at least 5 times. I started to feel that lactate build on the 3rd set so there is work to be done. I've got some big races coming up: Sierre-Zinal - which is considered the biggest mountain race in the world, UTMB - by far the biggest 100 mile race in the world, and before all that fun in Europe the sadistic SpeedGoat 50K in a couple of weeks. Hopefully I can burn the legs and lungs at SG50K to get ready for the lung burning that will happen at SZ.

Before I move onto my week, I just want to say a few words about my pacing duties at HR last weekend. What an honor. Hard Rock is such an extraordinary event and to get the opportunity to crew and pace a good friend and teammate Nick Clark was an honor. This was the first time I was involved in the race and not racing, which meant I had the time to spend with some quality people. Don't get me wrong, it's a lot of work crewing (driving around) but it's going around in a caravan of people that are doing and thinking the same thing. Besides we are right smack in the middle of the San Juan mountains - it doesn't get any better. I chatted with so many people for quite a while whom I normally only get to see during the race. So to all those people I chatted with - it was good to catch up with you! And to those I met - it was nice to meet you and hope our paths cross again.

Enough about that, more about Nick. He was stellar all day. He looked a little haggard coming into Grouse Gulch but he didn't complain, just changed his shoes, and ran up Engineer road with his pacer Brendan Trimboli. Speaking of which, Brendan is a young guy who will be one watch in the coming years - talented and motivated. I waited around Grouse for while longer for Darcy to come through and cheer another PI teammate on, she was right behind Diana and the race was on. Because I waited at Grouse I had to race around to Ouray to catch Nick, made it just in time, laid out his clothing options and got him on his way. Note: I learned that crew should not give options to the runner to make decisions but rather the crew should give them what they need for the journey ahead. I made the mistake early on of giving Nick options and could tell he was not making decisions very quickly or decisively.

Nick and Brendan leave Ouray and I make the long drive over to Telluride where I think I have some down time to get myself ready for the 30 mile journey back home to Silverton. Not so, Julian came in to Telluride just after 11 PM with Dakota and Nick to follow about 1/2 hour later. From here Nick's report gives you a very good detailed report of what happened on the trail, I'll just add a few things.

What makes Nick so extraordinary is that he was hurting but he kept moving forward, not once did he stop to sit on a rock. I really believe that is the key to doing well at HR - keep moving forward. I did a lot of pulling on Nick, not saying anything but just picking up the pace here and there (sometimes into a jog) and Nick would follow. I remember some of my best pacers would do that to me and it made me so mad at the time but in hind sight that's what a pacer is for - to keep the runner on pace (and not lost). We caught glimpses of Dakota and Troy's lights every now and again and that was enough to keep us going. When day broke we were surprised to see Dakota and Troy just leaving Putnam and we got a little fire in the belly. We made a strong -I mean strong- push up the 3 climbs out of Putnam and when we finally got in the clearing and saw how far up Dakota was on the ridge, my heart sank. I know we both powered up that hill with a lot of running stints but Dakota was not gonna be caught. He could smell the barn and was hiking/running strong. Nick still powered home strong and in the end carved out a nice little record for himself - the WS/HR double. This record will stand for quite some time. Congrats to all who finished! And as far as the shoe thing is concerned.... I could not believe when I heard Nick say "uh oh" and watched his shoe tumble towards a cliff. It's funny now but at that moment sliding on my butt towards the cliff I was scared shit less.

Now. Back to my week. Like I said before, very UNmotivated and lots of travel. Not to mention, my quads were sore through Wednesday - Nick worked me over!

Monday - no way too sore
Tuesday - 6 myles Bluffs
Wednesday - 6 myles KC Indian creek trail
Thursday - too lazy but did play a bit of soccer in Seward, NE

Total - 42 myles, 5 hrs 32 mins, 5778 ft of climbing (60 myles the week before)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

June 27 - July 3

Before I say anything else I want to say "thank you" for all who posted a comment on my blog last week. Even if you didn't post a comment but just read "thank you". Or if we chatted at WS before, during, or after "thank you". It made me realize that I am really fortunate to participate in this ultra sport with a bunch really cool, genuine people.

Sometimes I have a tendency to put a bunch of pressure on myself for no other reason than to see what I am capable of doing, genetically speaking. And what better arena to do that with the best of the best. Put the work in and see what you got. It didn't happen this time, and maybe I'll never live up to my own internal expectations, but I am honored to toe the line every time (and then drink beer). So believe it or not, I have moved on but this is what happens after a week of sitting around eating a bunch of bad bad food, drinking a slew of good good beer, and resting - it's all part of the process. So bring on the SpeedGoat, Sierre-Zinal, and UTMB - Wow! Now that's a pretty cool line up!

But first things first, I'm pacing Nick Clark at HR next weekend. And. I. Can't. Wait! This will be the first time at HR that I can relax and visit with some really cool people - my HR family. Starting with Dale Garland. Yes he's busy during this time but for some reason that guy seems to have time for everyone. Next is Bill Dooper. Bill is the quintessential HR fan. I met him there a about 4 years ago and we have been good friends ever since. The Darnold's. My South Mineral campground host friends that took me in 3 years ago and have kept in touch ever since. In fact, last year they volunteered at the Chapman aid station to show their support for this race. This would be a book long post if I named everyone so I'll stop there. Looking forward to seeing you all!

Now on to pacing Nick. Nick is coming off a stellar WS, where 1 year ago he burst onto the ultra scene. Not really in my eyes cause around here in Colorado he was layin down some fast times before then, but to people outside of Colorado WS 2010 was his welcome party. He will be tired, I know, but Nick is tough and laser focused. Coupled with my course knowledge we will be fast from Telluride in, I know it. So Nick if you're reading, here is what your looking at for splits:
  • Telluride to Chapman 3 hours (9 myles) - one climb that looks like Hope pass outbound
  • Chapman to KT 2.25 (7 myles) - two tiered climb up and over Grant-Swamp
  • KT to Putnam 1.55 (5.5 myles) - 3 tiered climb +1 short stout climb
  • Putnam to Finish 1.05 (6 myles) - downhill to the highway and then rolling to the finish.
Karl's probably looking at these splits saying "hmm looks very similar to my 09..." Well they are Karl! This was the year you finally put a blazing finish in this direction, other years you have struggled in this section (Telluride to KT).

Last, my week was packed with burritos, beer, burgers, and bon-bons. I think my body was ready to run by Wednesday but the mind didn't come around till Saturday so it was no rush. Here's what that looked like:
Monday - nothing
Tuesday - zilch
Wednesday - nada
Thursday - nope
Friday - negative
Saturday - 9 myles Coyote Ridge - slow and steady
Sunday - 9 myles HR backcountry - fun, happy to be on the trails.

Total - 18 myles, 2 hrs 26 mins, 2230 ft of climbing.

Alright my friends and family, have a happy and safe 4th of July. Kinda weird not being in Silverton for the greatest fireworks display on the earth.

Me and my cool boys