Monday, September 27, 2010

A few runs to break up the recovery...

I interrupted my recovery time to participate in the Boulder Sunset Triathlon for a short tri relay team. Initially the race was scheduled 2 weeks ago, but was moved due to the fire. Obviously, the short tri is the weeniest of triathlons, and I was on a relay team (weeniest of the weenies :) So 5K was my run on a flat out and back on dirt road, and my first run since Steamboat was the day before (Saturday) ~8 miles @ 7:30. Unfortunately, I ate some homemade whipped cream Saturday night (lactose intolerant here) and woke up with the shits. Rachel raced Sunday morning so I spent much of the time in the port-o-let enjoying the atmosphere. Got picked up for the tri a bit after noon and headed up to Boulder for the shenanigans. I was pleasantly surprised by the shwag (incredibly bright socks, nice tech shirt) and found some shade. It was hot, in the 80's and I was all achy from the morning on the jon, and I was hoping I wouldn't have to push it too hard on the run. Anyway, when the first relay team finished the bike, I started my watch to find my gap (female runner on the first place team into transition) and figured if I was 2-3 minutes off I could maybe close the gap, but if she was half decent or better I'd have no chance. Our gap was 3:37 so I figured it was a race for second and took off. I actually felt pretty good leaving transition and the short small uphill I looked down and was surprised to see 5:48/M on the watch, so I figured I'd push it until I saw the girl and if I thought I had a chance to come close I'd hold down the throttle and see what happened. To my surprise I didn't see her coming back at me at all and ended up catching her at the turnaround (split was around 9 minutes or so). I figured if I had closed three and a half minutes in 2.5K I could cruise in and not hurt and still win so that's what I did. I ended up putting another 3 or so minutes on her and just cruised pretty slow on the way back ending up right on 20 minutes for the 5K. Got some nice shwag for winning, $30 from fleet feet so I'll have to go up to Boulder again sometime to buy a shirt or something. Also got a little plaque for winning which is now chillin' in my utterly dull grey cube here at the office. Also have a camelbak water bottle from fleet feet that's my office water bottle (not the easiest thing to drink from, but a nice bottle). Good fun, good free beer at the Avery tent and great tacos from Illegal Pete's. This was also my first win of any kind in racing, though winning the sprint tri relay at a generally non-competitive local race is like dunking on 10 year olds with an 8' rim...

Thanks to the race staff and volunteers for a great time and a well run event, I can't swim for beans, but if I ever find the time or money to go swimming I think and Ironman might be in my future (way far off in the future!). Of course, Pb will call my name far before the Ironman.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The OB Winners and Losers

The proud beneficiaries of my less than stellar finish last Saturday are....

JT & Todd!
Gubna for Todd (I'll make it a complete 4pack in honor of your entering the Royal Order of the Crimson Cheetah) and JT can earn himself a full set of the OB of his choosing by finishing his business on the Rocky Mountain Slam this weekend (Wolverine buckle too?)...
The proud losers are interestingly the ones I know best!

Woody, Jake, and Dad all owe me an OB's concoction! Apparently you have too much faith for your own good! Kidding, I should have been buying for ya!
More to come, but all are welcome to a run up Bergen Peak in a few weeks with Jim playing guide! I am having a hard time staying put right now and I should get out on the bike soon, but my legs are pretty damn fresh from not having run hard the second half of the race so I am getting some pretty stupid thoughts in my head. Must go home and sit... Must go home and sit...
On a separate note, Xavier crapped in his potty for the first time yesterday and I am one proud dad! Hooray for poo!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Run Rabbit Run 2010 aka. "Puke Fest 2010"

Wow! What a tale of two races. Suffice it to say that I am satisfied (mostly) with how things turned out and I am learning.

From the off I was sure that the day was going to be average at best, but despite that I was feeling pretty good once the climbing started. Initially, I thought that I would be fine with 14:00/min miles for the first 6 (+3400') miles and then try to just find a pace and settle in. At the top of Storm Peak I figured I was somewhere in 30th place and feeling rather good compared to last year. In fact, the climb seemed a lot less steep than the year prior which was a pleasant surprise. Having two bottles I opted to skip the aid station and picked up a few spots while settling in between two runners who seemed to be clipping along at a decent pace.
The 6 or 7 miles from Storm Peak to Long lake were fairly uneventful and I just zoned out a bit and took in the unbelievable scenery. The burnt orange and red were almost smoldering; a wonderful image of autumn. Arriving at Long Lake I dropped my second water bottle (probably a mistake), my sleeves, and my gloves as it was warming up. Picked up some water and got out before the others I was running with. Skipping past Long Lake and subsequently Elmo Lake, I was finally feeling a bit free, the terrain is much more manageable and I was opening up the throttle on the flats and engaging the climbs.
Upon reaching the aid at 18.5 I topped off water (hadn't drank much, possible foreshadowing) and powered on through. From here it's mostly downhill into Dumont and I was able to run strong, though not as strong as I had hoped. I was probably averaging somewhere around 8:15's or so when a good day should see me :30/m or more faster. The terrain is similar to Sun Mountain where I was running sub 7:30's for a dozen or so miles. In any case I passed Helen Cospolich and she asked me about if there were any females back but I told her she was in the clear. Coming into Dumont I had expected to see the leaders (last year I was at least a mile out when Burch came flying by) but was surprised to not see any hint of them so I continued on (skipping water again, dumb).
The dirt road out of Dumont was the best I felt all day and I picked up the pace passing one more guy and then turning onto the trail leading to the Rabbit Ears. About 1.5 miles from the turn Roes came by, but didn't look to be killing it as I had expected (moving fast none the less, but I was expecting superman I guess). Then came Bill Fanselow and his superhuman abs (dude has an 18 pack I swear), followed by Burch all within a two or three minutes. I remembered the steep nastiness of the climb to the ears but it will hit you upside the head anyway and I was suffering for the first time getting up to the turnaround. Once up, I stopped to tighten up my shoelaces, mentally telling myself that this next 25 was going to hurt but it's time to toughen up (little did I know the torment I was really in for!). Helen passed me as I was tying my shoes (girl can climb, damn!) and that was the last I'd see of her making me F3 I guess ;)
Back to the turnaround and I was still feeling OK, but after gorging myself (knowing I was behind on calories) at Dumont I headed out. Not more than 100 feet down the trail and everything I had just taken in was on my shoes in one of the most amazing projectile vomits of my life! It was crazy, I had just pounded some serious coke and it was all fizzy and brown spewing from my face! Awesome to watch I imagine, but this is where the downward spiral started. I forced myself to keep the pace nailed down on the two track dirt heading back to the first climb inbound and then I power hiked that section (stopping to puke again) and tried and tried to keep myself in rhythm. Unfortunately, my stomach didn't think that was a good idea and I was in a sort of run a mile, puke/dry heave a mile, run a mile routine and my pace was falling off sharply.
*Note* I was on pace to run low 8ish inbound hitting the turnaround about 4:15:00 ish. Course is faster inbound by about a half hour if you play it smart I'd give it, more if you're nails. That could tell you something about how badly I fell apart from mile 28 in :)
Making it back in to the 18.5 to go aid, I was getting looks and had a hard time telling the volunteers what I needed. I ended up sitting down next to the aid station tent and eating a slice of watermelon and taking in some succeed drink (which is nasty stuff in my opinion). Feeling a bit better after a few minutes of sitting in the shade I took back to the trail, a nice technical section of downhill and BOOM here comes the watermelon! Woof, I shook it off and walked a while while I tried to gather myself and then started to lightly jog which was about all I could muster. I was not feeling good, wasn't sweating and hadn't been able to pee. I stopped to try and force myself to pee and could only manage a tiny bit that was dark yellow (like dijon mustard, not brown or red so I figured the kidneys were OK, but I was in some serious dehydration).
On my way into long lake, I caught up with a few mountain bikers and they were encouraging me into the aid stop which was nice, but I had not been able to return much in the way of banter. One of the volunteers walked right up to me and said, "you need to sit." So sit I did and they were kind enough to bring me a bunch of water and succeed while I tried to eat some shot blocks. I was probably there 5 minutes and felt a bit better so I decided to get going, and 50 feet down the trail I puked up all that junk again! I was not really having fun here at all, noting that I had no shot at going under 9 if I couldn't get this crap together. Unfortunately I couldn't, the technical trail and my puking slowed me to a shuffle and I was in all out survival mode knowing I didn't have an out until Storm Peak so I needed to keep moving. Here, about halfway to Storm Peak I found the mountain bikers (a couple) as I stumbled to the side of the trail to try and puke again. The lady mountain biker took some pity on me and offered cold water from her pack which I let her pour over my head for a couple minutes, Wow that felt good! I was still unable to ingest much without puking it up so I moved on having been cooled down by the miracle woman (as she will forever be know to me).
I remember vividly this next section of climbing and descending from last year so I was confident and running well (ish) but having trouble with foot placement and I was kind of stumbling and swerving all over coming into Storm Peak aid. They have a great view of runners coming in so the EMT there took me off the trial and sat me down immediately without any pretense (must have looked like a bucket of roses there). He started questioning me about eating and drinking, asking me what my name was and where I was from. I was pretty confused and dizzy and I think I asked him to start over, but he was doing some dehydration tests I guess and pinching me, then taking my pulse. He then said he wanted to take me down the mountain to which I replied, "I don't' think that's a good idea." So we settled on me not leaving until he was sure I could make it. So I sat and drank Succeed and ate a slice of banana and some tums. I don't know how long it was (10-15 minutes maybe, maybe less, I can't remember for sure) but I asked him if I could go and he allowed me to so off I was again.
6 miles of downhill on a packed dirt road (far less scree and rock this year, must have been grated recently) was its nasty self and I settled into a nice 8:25ish pace and was feeling actually OK for the first 3 miles but it was hot and as I got closer and closer to the finish I became more and more dizzy. I tried to drink my water and pour some over my head but it was only working enough to keep me upright. The construction near the finish had me a bit confused and I misstepped and damn near ate it with about 50 meters to go. Crossing the finish line I was toast, and while trying to stop and sit I just kind of fell. Thankfully there were 2 EMT's there, one of which caught me as I was falling and laid me on the ground. So a few minutes of question asking and water over my head, I was sitting up, seeing my wife and son and just glad to be done. Total finish time for me was 9:34:03 . When all is said and done, that was 35 minutes faster than last year, so I can't be too unhappy, but I think I left a solid hour out on the course and perhaps more.
Poor planning, well, little to no planning I think set me up to make bad decisions on hydration and fuel, which I attempted to compensate for and never recovered. This was the first time that I have puked on course and it was not a fun experience, though I wish there was some video of the first one as it was pretty epic!
I got to meet Jim (who rocked it!), and chatted with him and Aaron before Woody arrived, followed shortly by Gunner. I did manage some pizza and beer post race without puking and a meatball sub later on, but felt woozy, and still don't quite feel right. I've been eating tums all day to quell the crap going on in my stomach, weird and gross. We were late (and missed) the awards but got to have a nice chat with Ryan and Megan Burch, and I gotta say, two of the friendliest folks around. Truly and honor to share some space with them for a few moments, and Ryan killed it running on a bum knee pretty close to his CR last year.
I'll have some more to come about the rest of the year and my thinking about what my running has to offer going forward. We'll see, it was a tough day for me mentally, and I think I'll let my mind cool off a bit before I dig into what I'm thinking.
As for the rest of the trip, it was excellent! Saturday post race, and pretty much all day Sunday were spent sitting in the Yampa River which was about 6 feet from our cabin. Xavier emptied the shore of all rocks and deposited them into the middle of the river which was just classic little boy stuff. Loving the fall weather here. See ya on the trails in a few weeks.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Steamboat Heating Up

Weather forecast has warmed up a bit...

Don't forget to vote!

Still a great day to run fast. I'm thinking the CR goes down, way down, by an hour. Just sayin'...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Over/Under for Steamboat

Alright folks, time for some fun. Time to make a prediction and let the beer do the talkin'!

Last year I limped home in 10:09:00.

I'm gonna set the line this year at 8:40:00. Simple gambling here; make an over or under prediction of my time versus that line and put a member of the canned beer apocalypse on it! Next time we meet up for a run or whatever, either you or I will be providing a brewski!

Any takers?

Leadville quotes from Rod Bein

Just found Rod Bein's Leadville RR. Here are some great quotes from it.

On the size of the race start:

The field has inflated to about 900 due to all the exaggerated adjectives that were used by Chris McDougall in "Born to Run". Think how many would come if McDougall was even slightly a legitimate runner. Oops, did I say that?

On heading up to Hope for the first time:

"Bring it on", I thought. I think the mountains might have laughed at me for a minute before opening a serious can of whoop ass on me.

On returning to Hopeless:

We got down to the "Hopeless" aid station again and it was pretty much a scene out of MASH. Lots of folks still heading over Hope Pass for the first time (poor bastards) and many of them were suffering badly. I puked a few more times here as I tried to pop a gel.

Lots of other good stuff in there too. My favorite is the "poor bastards" quote, classic.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Taper babbling...

Calm and focused, that's what I'd say my mind embodies right now, perhaps borderline lax. Surely that will change as the Saturday edges closer, but what would race week be without the constant changes in mental approach or confidence? Fifty miles along the CDT hasn't changed, but I have changed and come back better prepared.

I've been thinking about splits and such, but at the moment, I think I'm going to throw them out. What matters to me is taking an hour off last year's "run". I will probably take some risks because, well, because it's more fun that way. I'm glad Bill, Geoff, Ryan, and Dylan (and others) are running because it puts out any chance of irrational pre-race thoughts. Time for me to focus on what I do well. I think that an 8:xx:xx is reasonable and expected from me, but I'm not going to make any comments on how low I think that can be.

One thing I've found is that, the number can only be as low as the day gives you. If you're on, you can push right to the line and possibly beyond. On an average day you can be fast if you play it smart and stay within your thresholds. Sometimes, things just don't go your way and you need to gut it out. I know that I can gut this race out, I did last year. Hopefully the actual race experience will be the antithesis of 2009.

This race will also be the final journey for my beloved grey pair of NB 100's. Per my log, they have 65 sessions, 713.5 miles run, 114 hours 35 minutes and 59 seconds on them as of now. 66 is a good place to stop.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Musings and misdirection

Nick won Wasatch.

What a breakout season (nationally that is), guy can't lose right now. It seems like every time he steps up to the plate, he jacks one into the upper deck. I think the only guy that should take bets with him is Tony.

Speaking of Tony, I attempted to make my way up Green Mountain, but ended up off trail somewhere and after climbing some sheer face hands and all I ended up at the second flatiron. Coming back down I was all over the place trying to find a trail. I followed cairns on the way up, which is why I thought I was still on trail, but I don't know I guess I just misread a sign somewhere which is fine because I was working hard and my brain was pounding by the time I got on Saddle. I must have been a sight when the couple making out on the summit saw me snot-faced and panting.

Someday I'll get a guide to take me up the real way! Hopefully that's Gregory/Ranger! I have a feeling it wasn't gonna get any easier when I got up to Greenman... Most of the trail I was on was not reasonably runnable, such has been the case with my experiences of Boulder trails. More reason to stay close to home I guess.

Good times though, ready for tomorrow and my last actual work before touch up work heading into Steamboat.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Weekend Plans

I received an email confirming what I had expected: the Boulder Sunset triathalon was cancelled or postponed as the area is being used for staging during the fire. This was fine with me, there are far more important things to deal with up there.

Sunday morning I'll be getting up early to run with Woody down in the Ranch, which will be nice, I love seeing new trails!

I'll probably run a touch on Saturday, but not much at all, probably just a loop around Wash Park from the house. (or maybe I'll head up Apex...)

*edit* Of course I will be out in Golden for my wife's maiden 10k voyage! Good luck babe! I love a sweaty woman!

Otherwise, tonight is the opening game for the forthcoming NFL season, so I'll be joining Gunner to watch his beloved Vikes down at Cap City Grille. Who knew there was a Vikes bar in Denver?

Had a nice run last night up at Bergen Peak with Gunner and Aaron, legs are finally coming around and I'm hoping to get to the line itching to let it rip. That's how I felt going into Sun Mountain and I really put something together there, if I can do the same in Steamboat I might surprise some folks, but to me, as long as I pull an hour minimum off last year's time, I'll be happy. More to come on Steamboat...

Karl has Nick at 3-1... good money?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lucky Day!

Got into work this morning, sifted through my morning duties, and then found this... Whazzza??? Time to go buy a Powerball ticket!

Thanks Bryon and iRunFar! Guess I'll be rocking some La Sportiva gear this winter :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Boulder Peak Bagging

A perfect start to the day

Really? Shadow Canyon was stupid, steep, and rocky.

Bit frustrated with how nasty Shadow was being.

View to the south from South Boulder Peak, doesn't get much better.

One down, two to go. South Boulder Peak Summit.

Decent bit of scrambling to get up SBP, but Bear was much nastier.

Looking back at South Boulder Peak

Bear Peak, still feeling alright, but it's heating up. Green Mtn in the back.

Green Mtn, had about enough climbing for one day...

A look back at some of the day's work

Friday, September 3, 2010

Traditional or Back Door?

After pouring over the Boulder Open Space maps (which suck hard by the way), I've come to one of two conclusions.

1. Traditional approach to Green from Chautauqua (Gregory/Ranger), then Bear and South Boulder peak in an out and back fashion (allows for a two step on Bear and Green) which I plot at roughly ~15 miles ish. Like I said, the map sucks.

2. Coming in the back door. Park at the South Boulder Creek West lot and go South Boulder Creek trail/Big Bluestem/Mesa/Shadow Canyon, hop west up South Boulder Peak, then Bear, Bear Peak West/Green Bear to Green Mtn, then back through Green Bear loop Bear Canyon to Fern Canyon, tag Bear again (and maybe SB too) and head back the way I came. This looks like roughly ~19 miles ish.

I'm thinking the traditional approach would be more fun if I were feeling springy and it'd be nice to see how my ascent compares to others, but my legs are a trainwreck right now and I'll be taking this one easy easy easy. My guess is that I'd deal with less traffic coming up South Boulder Peak (I'm leaning that way)...

Alright, I'm committing to the South Boulder Creek TH option. Hopefully I'll leave the crowds behind...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Run in Boulder this Saturday?

Thinking about getting up early and running in the Boulder area since I've never run north of White Ranch. Perhaps 15-20, I'm open for ideas/suggestions and company (but I'll be looking to get out early in the am ~5 or 6ish)...


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August by the book

Not sure what to think about the summer, I feel like it was just here. However, it was nice and crisp when I stepped out the door this morning, signalling to me the first hints of fall.

By the book, I show 297 miles for the month with 9 days off. 13.5 miles per day of running or 9.5 per day. My biggest month ever, guess I should figure out that I am still in shape. The legs are super sore today and I'm thinking I'll take one more day off and then begin the sharpening process... If I do run today, it'll just be cruising around easy.

As I Look at the below picture from Thomas Reiss' blog

I think to myself... holy &*#$! This is of course Hope Pass outbound, about mile 40 of the LT100. All you have to do is run over that, turn around, come back over, then run 40 more miles... What??? I know I did half of it, but it still blows my mind.

I'm certain that one of these days I'll completely lose it and sign up and do this thing, but I'm not sure if it will be next year. What I am thinking of seriously is Miwok if I can get in. Proximity to my family and so forth is really nice, and my fam has never seen me race. That may be my chance to tackle a new distance before child #2, but we'll see what happens there.

I'm really looking forward to spending time up in Steamboat with Rachel, Xavier, Jon, and Woody & Co. We'll all be in the nice little cabins of Steamboat campground and as has been said, I fall into the line of Fall=Best and there really is no place like Steamboat in the fall. Hopefully we'll be in for perfect weather like last year, but I think I'm due for a slugfest with 'ma nature...