Saturday, March 9, 2013

Salida 2013

After all the chatter of weather, we arrived this morning to a bone dry Salida.

A brisk start was easy chatter up around the mini starting loop, but as we hit the road, I drifted way off the pack.  I was feeling OK, but just didn't have the turnover to hang as 25+ guys left me in the dust.  My legs took a while to warm up to the trail, and really lagged on the dirt road to the turnaround.  Luckily, I managed to clean my act up after hitting halfway at just over 1:50 in.  

Aside from some blowing snow and my lack of hat/sun glasses the trail conditions were pretty ideal, whatever ice was around had a nice coating of snow to add some traction. The middle section of the course is my favorite, steep and nasty downhills let me really make up some ground and just before the final short climb I had moved my way into 13th.  I dropped off a bit in energy and Paul caught me and ran with me up to the final aid station.  We made a wrong turn shortly after which added a bit of time (not much, really) and as Paul accelerated down the smooth trail, I attempted to match his pace, puked up my gel, and backed off to settle down.

In the end, Paul got me by almost a full minute, a great race there at the end.  I was stoked to run nearly 20 minutes faster than last year, and felt strong pretty much the entire second half of the run with a big negative split.  To run faster, I'd need to put in some actual speed-work as I lost a lot of time on the smooth sections, and particularly that 4 miles of road early on.

The best thing about Salida remains the low key "family reunion" feel of the race.  Friends I've not seen in a few months all seem to show up and we get to chatter about the year's plans and where we'll see each other next.

Big props go to Keith for couching the marathon from sea level in primo fashion.  The pizza, beer, and corn whiskey from Moonlight was much deserved.

As usual, the drive home was the toughest part, driving back into the storm on tired legs...

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I had mentioned that I'd been keeping an eye on Quad Rock, well now that eye is set and done.  I'm in, I'm committed.

Should be interesting, and there will be some solid comp too, so just having a good day is the goal.  Climb, descend, repeat.  Three weeks post big ditch puts it at the perfect time.

I recently reread this piece, which has sort of been my unofficial motto for a few years now.  So my plan? Race hard, see what happens.

Salida looks to be getting snow Friday night and Saturday, which should make things more fun, in my opinion.  Getting home seems to be the only issue.

Monday, March 4, 2013

February 2013

288 miles (+48,381').

Missed one day of running which meant I missed my arbitrary goal of 300/50K' by one day's worth of stats. I've committed myself to letting arbitrary numbers go and simply doing what the day gives me without forcing it.  That said, March's arbitrary goal is 350/60K'.  More of this is simple base building and I think this year has begun quite well in that measure as I feel fit and I was able to get in more mileage and about four times the vertical than I have in the previous 5 years of running.

Last year I ran 250 miles in February and 19K of vertical.  So, the climbing is coming a bit more natural, although I've still a long way to go to be where I want to be.  Overall, I'm really happy with where I am and where I'll be in the build up to Bighorn.  I've been keeping my eye on Clarkie's Quad Rock rego list and as each passing day goes by I get more and more desire to race.

This coming weekend is Salida, of course, and hopefully this massive head cold passes and I avoid another 2012 race.  Otherwise, things are well in the running world and I'm really excited for a bunch of exploring and running every bit of unexplored trail and non trail on "my" Green Mountain.  Stoked to be heading down to the ditch with a great group of guys who "get it". More and more, I'm also excited to get this Bighorn monkey off my back (and to keep my HR status up).