Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The 2012 Race Season?

Oddly enough, my wife brought up the subject of the 2012 race season last night. So, naturally, I started thinking about it. A bit premature I admit, but looking at races is always fun.

Some ideas I've had include:

The only race I really would like to travel FAR for...

Cascade Crest 100. My absolute must have race (not necessarily this coming year, but it's the race I'd most like to do)

Colorado races I've yet to run...

Run Through Time Trail Marathon, North Fork 50K, CP50, San Juan... Hardrock...?

Is Clarkie still gonna put on a 100K? Please? Perhaps an RD experience that doesn't involve the hospital?

Close by races (driving distance)...

Zion 100? Ghost Town? A return to BigHorn? Black Hills?

East coasters...

Grindstone? Hellgate? If I go back for Hellgate, I want to make sure the weather is completely horrible so Horty and Ramsey will quit whining about how nice it was last year!


Not likely, but I'd love to race Knee Knacker...

"Vacation" trips...

We travel to see family in Northern California and South Central Texas on occasion... No reason to avoid a mix and match :)

Thoughts and suggestions welcome.


Likely options now opened up most (or all) of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois. Likely this means a trip out for the Ice Age 50

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Silver Rush Splits

The numbers more so speak for themselves, my climbing legs were non-existent. The drops were very reserved, which I credit to how my body feels today. I intend to run downhill in a similar manner at LT100 in order to preserve my body for miles 70-100. Looking at the results, the run is fairly similar to how I intend to run at LT100 as a whole. Never put myself into a hole I can't dig out of. Hopefully, I can match that for double, and hang on for the final miles. A lot easier said than done.

mi split
1 8:16
2 7:42
3 8:00
4 8:51
5 8:38
6 8:45
7 9:39
8 9:50
9 11:28
10 13:11
11 8:15
12 7:24
13 7:09
14 7:50
15 7:39
16 10:30
17 13:41
18 13:26
19 10:50
20 13:32
21 8:19
22 8:18
23 8:41
24 9:22
25 13:52
26 12:24
27 17:11
28 14:47
29 8:38
30 8:09
31 10:28
32 11:33
33 12:14
34 12:52
35 13:55
36 14:24
37 8:56
38 7:32
39 7:46
40 7:41
41 7:55
42 8:50
43 7:54
44 8:08
45 8:36
46 8:57
46.37 2:43

Total: 7:44:40 (4th & 1.5hr PR)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Silver Rush 50

Not really sure where to take this report, but I've got mixed feelings about my run there. Overall, a wonderful day in the mountains, a great training run for Leadville, and nice to catch up with some other good people.

My buddy Jacob and I headed up to Twin Lakes Saturday evening to camp with Lucho and Co. Upon arrival I was excited to hear about his race that morning, though we quickly found out that he had spent the better part of the day in the ER after crashing out hard multiple times on the bike (shattering his helmet) with a concussion and incredible amounts of road rash. We got the skinny, well, as much as he could remember and got to see up close the golf ball emerging from the side of his forehead. A huge bummer to be sure, not solely due to the fact that he was crushing it in 2nd place and feeling crazy good up until the crash. Also a bummer that he'd be out of the run as well, dude was looking lean and mean. We got some great food from Mrs. Lucho and shot the breeze while the little luchoites clearly had zero fun playing around the campsite and eating roasted marshmallows...

On to the race. After a fitful night of sleep we awoke in just enough time to get up head down to the start, get checked in, and take care of some business before lining up. Hopped in next to Brandon and Luke and we were off. I settled into a slow climb, not wanting to overwork the initial grunt and then eased my way off the front of the group on the downhill to the trail. Right as the uptick in the trail shifted I had the ominous feeling that it wasn't going to be a good day. Legs had zero pep and I was slowly losing turnover. I crashed out shortly after getting passed for the first time and that sort of woke me from my slumber. Grinding out the first climb, I had fallen back into 5th or so, was passed by a few people, Luke included on the downhill where I just wasn't feeling good and didn't want to put myself into an early hole. So I was into 7th and cruised back into the mile 13 aid to refill water and be on my way.

Luke, Eli, and I worked our way down to Oro City and trading places and leapfrogged on the climb up to the side of ball mountain. I was hiking way to much for my liking but managed to pass both up to the aid station. We worked around the side of ball, and it seemed like quite a few folks caught up to me at the saddle, including Joe, and I put a bit of separation on them heading down to the turnaround. I passed Jesse (new to CO) to gain 4th into the turnaround in about 3:40 (plenty slower than I had hoped for initially).

Climbing back out of the turn is my least favorite part of the course, and with my pathetic climbing skills on display, I was passed twice on my way back to the saddle of Ball Mtn. From here I simply decided that I was going to put forth a solid steady effort and focus on moving forward efficiently. Made good time on drop off Ball Mtn and passed a guy at Oro City. I made a decent time on the way up to the mile 33 aid and began reeling in 4th place on the push up to the top of the last big climb. Once back on the drop I just focused on maintaining turnover. I knew I was gaining, but didn't want to push too hard and reel him in right away. I eventually caught him just before the 7 to go aid. I got some coke and salt water before heading back out to finish. I should mention that it was plenty toasty and I was getting fried on the exposed last section, so when I hit the little powerline stretch and then crossed the mineral belt trail, I was very happy to be close. I ended up bringing back the gap on Joe a little but finished in 4th in 7:44:40. Full Results here.

So, overall it was a good finish and a good training run. I feel great today, better than I did after Bighorn which I attribute to not really racing to my penitential. I have mixed feelings about the race (my race), but I think I've settled on it being a positive experience training wise. I think if I'd been able to run to my fullest abilities, I'd be hobbled today and it would have been detrimental to the 100 in 5 weeks. I certainly felt like I could head back out for more, so that's a good sign. I'm getting nice and antsy for the big one, but I have plenty of time to prepare and look at what would be a solid time for me. I got some great advice and notes from Lucho over the fire and I plan on attempting to run a similar race (smooth and controlled first half). He was something like 26th at Winfield and 6th at the finish. That seems like the way to go.

Thanks to Drymax and for the great gear, I was comfy all day!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The wolf in waiting at Silver Rush...

In my mind there is one man to beat, and he goes by one name: Lucho.

Something that I have learned expressly from my parents and grandparents is that respect is essential. You must learn from those who come before you as well as those in your present. Lucho is both. When I was graduating high school, he was crushing IM events. He is crushing the mountains now.

While I've only met him once in person, I came away more than just a little impressed. There is only one way to describe his climbing: beastly. In that regard I returned to the place I learned my lesson from the man himself yesterday to work a Silver Rush specific workout. 2x Lookout Mountain. Up the road, down the trail. Workout was hard up, easy down, easy up, hard down.

I'm not much to speak of climbing, in fact the only above average skill I think I have is technical descending. I love it. My times on the drop were indicative of that, I ran over a minute faster on the 2 miles of rocky trail then the 1 mile of smooth pavement during the drop. This skill may be the only way I can stay close.

I'll be camping out with Lucho & Co. the night prior to SR so maybe some good vibes will flow my way! The real question now is... will he bust out a sweet visor and skin suit like this one?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Weekend Wrap

Well, it's been a good bachelor week and it has come to an end. I miss my family, and am glad to have them back tonight. My weekend was essentially living here:

Camp at 11,300' somewhere on the east side of Mt. Princeton.

The quick and dirty is this:

Friday after work Gunner and I drove to Manitou to hang with Ives and get ready for Pikes on Saturday. Getting ready meant beer and food at Trinity. Mmmm.

Pikes went well, we took it easy and made the others wait for us at the summit. You see, my friend Keith was dumb enough to blindly accept anything we had planned for the weekend. Don't bother telling us that he'd previously never run further than 10 miles and those miles being flat. Pikes marathon route? Sounds good to me. He did great, a bit of heat on the descent made a bit of a drag last 4 but we made it through. I even got to add a bit of bonus km's and vert in search of water.

Refuel with Pizza/beer/creeking. Drive to Princeton, set up camp, food.

Day 1 in the books.

We woke up Sunday morning, ran down to the base of the hill to meet Jaime and then proceeded up Mt. Princeton. The legs were ok, but sluggish and the technical last 2 miles or so were a grinder and somewhat hard to find the trail but we made it. It was crazy warm on the summit and the views were priceless. Tagged Tiger on the way back down, again struggling to find any resemblance of a "trail" but made it back to the dirt road and down to camp without issue. Great day on the hill, and nice to spend some time with my pacer from Twin to Fish.

Refuel with turkey and cheese sammies/beer.

Ventured down to town and forgot to get what we actually needed. We were having too much fun.

Day 2 in the books.

Wake up for what Gunner and Ives had deemed "beach day" and packed up camp to drive to Leadville. On the way down the hill we (and by we I mean I) may or may not have nearly driven off the side of the mountain, but team gunderson and the sergeant successfully "maneuvered" the 4runner back to safety via superhuman strength. Anyway, it was a blip on the radar and we grabbed our coffee and headed to Fish. Boys dropped me at Fish where I ran up over powerline (7 false summits if you're counting) around and down to CR4 then back to Tabor. Felt sluggish on the first two steep pitches of powerline, but as the grade eased I got stronger and ran everything from the top of the second pitch. Took it mellow down the dirt road, then got to feeling great coming around the CT and picked it up, from Mayqueen to Tabor I was hauling ass, bogged down a bit to CR4 then picked it up again back to the boys who were enjoying a nice start to "beach day". After a soak, we headed back home.

Refuel in BV with a cheese steak/sweet potato tots.


Lots of good times out there with old friends. Probably too many inside jokes and things that need not be repeated to others. What a memorable and great trip. Remember 4X4 roads mean 4X4, but you can leave your hiking boots at home you pansy...

Friday, July 1, 2011

June figures and the end of chasing

444 Miles. 64 1/2 hours. 1 Race. Two days off (both 7hr travel days to/from Bighorn) By far the largest month (by about 100 mi) I've ever had. Simple purpose of the month was to hit volume and do some really tough runs. I certainly achieved that. The B2B Mt. Falcon days were tough, but it made me a bit harder mentally which will be key come August. With the wife and son gone until Tuesday, I've been up in the mountains every day after work including yesterday evening on the CT above 10,000 feet where I felt pretty good, took it easy, but the last 500' climb back to the ridge I got stronger as I went higher. Overall, I feel the volume in my legs and I'll be now shifting into a different period of training.

As I said, I wanted to combine some things that have worked for others (high mileage and specificity). I remember Lucho warning against cramming in 100+ mile weeks so close to a 100. Being that these last 4 weeks were my first consecutive big weeks, I don't want to push volume for volume's sake. This week may touch 100, but it will probably be the last until 8/20. I'll keep the volume at an appropriate level (probably 80-95ish) and do some more focused training while allowing my legs to recover and build strength again. This week and weekend I'm focusing on vertical and altitude. All of my runs will take place on big mountains and primarily above 10,000 feet.

So, my big volume weeks are behind me. I'm hoping to do some more specific work at altitude, faster work on flats, and dial in a bit. Hopefully I can trim down slightly (3-4lbs) and stay healthy. The big test is in a few weeks where Silver Rush is waiting. While the course is a fair amount different than the 100, being able to run well there should give me a much better idea about what to realistically go after at LT100. I threw out a reach goal while on a run Wednesday with Brendan and Steve, and while I actually believe I can do it (confidence is high, maybe too high, but it's as important as fitness I think), I'm not going to run myself into debt in the first half if it's not there.