30 April 2010
Here's a link to follow along during the race, http://www.ultralive.net/
27 April 2010
A little run tomorrow, maybe. Off on Thursday. Loosen up for a half hour on Friday in CA, then fun in the sun on Saturday. It looks as though the weather is going to be perfect, clear, low 45, high 60-ish. Lists are written, splits are together, clothes laid out.
Fly out Friday, limp home Sunday!
25 April 2010
60 miles in 8 hrs 20 mins in 5 runs
Mon: 7.5 mi flat, easy trail run
Wed: 17 mi rolling trail
Thurs: 11 mi flat with fartleks
Sat: 17 mi rolling trail dragging heavy, giant clobs of mud on my shoes
Sun: 8 mi (3 mi warm up, 5k "race", 2 mi cool down), ran 5k in 19 mins (more below)
The 5k was the Earth Day 5k and I just noticed it on some website this morning and headed over there (CU Research Center). $30 race day entry. I wore a sweet new pair of Under Armor road shoes I got last night at Marshals for $29 (I guess that makes Marshals my sponsor for 2010).
The wind and gusts of wind were atrocious out of the west (easily 15 mph steady with 25mph gusts). We lined up and got under way. My goal was to run it at half marathon pace/effort. I wasn't checking my watch after the first mile split came in at 5:32 because I KNOW I wasn't running that pace. I concentrated on keeping a steady pace and staying loose, which was easy on certain sections of the course and difficult on others (when grinding into the wind). It's a looping course where you sort of overlap what you already ran a couple of times. This leads to other problems like having to dodge walkers who insist on walking five people shoulder to shoulder across the road, while managing to hug the tangent, so you have to swing way out wide to get around them and they're like, "Whoa! scary!" when you pass by, like they're out walking in their own backyard and you're running by naked and jumping their fence. I jogged the last .3 mile or so and two guys almost popped a nut sprinting past me just before the line. Whatever. It was basically a joke of an event and I'm thankful I'm not in any sort of shape to run it competitively or I would've been fairly upset. For $30 I got a bib number, four safety pins, and a cup of water. There was no shirt, no shwag, no times posted and two hours later at the awards ceremony they gave out a $15 certificate to purchase previously used building materials (yay, now I can go get those odd sized 2x4's riddled with nail holes that I've always wanted). For a slow ass 5k like I ran what more can I expect? I usually take it pretty easy on events but this one deserves a smack in the head.
[caption id="attachment_157" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Here's my 5k AG award. Eat your heart out This Old House."][/caption]
Regardless, I got my fast tempo workout and it only cost me 30 bucks. I really like the Under Armor shoes. They feel like a cross between the Nike Vormero and Adidas Super Nova Cush (retail for $109 and I got them for, like I said, $29. And also scored a sweet Fila sleeveless race shirt for $9.99 that I'm wearing for Miwok Saturday - hot stuff!).
Now if I can just keep my sanity my askew version of sanity until Saturday I'll be ok.
24 April 2010
With 4 miserable months of constant rain in CA, I'm very sensitive to wet weather right now. The last couple of days of heavy rain left me no option but to indulge in a slop-fest of mud bogging today. A "character building" run for sure. At one point my mood was so sour that I just sat down on a rock, emptied my 5lbs mud covered shoes of pebbles and then simply sat there until I calmed down. The last 5 miles or so were better because I knew I'd be done soon and the sun was starting to peek out here and there. I picked up Pippit and we did a cool down walk (the rain and residual conditions don't seem to bother him much).
17 miles in 2:35.
Congratulations to Scott Jaime for winning Zane Grey 50 Miler today! The man was sick all last week and still pulled out the win.
23 April 2010
My worn, smelly trail shoes are sitting outside the sliding glass door looking somewhat pathetic being left in a pigeon-toed position and seemingly longing to be indoors out of the cold splash of raindrops. Picked a good day to take off from running. The rain, though light, has been steady since I got up at 6am. It's one of those days, though, that give you great energy if you do venture out for a run. I suppose it gives that extra sense of accomplishment like nothing, not even gloomy weather can stop you. I don't mind taking the day off; there are errands I can take care of, maybe have a long lunch, catch up on other blogs and races, plan the traveling to CA for the race next week, that sort of stuff. Still, I feel lazy. I know Anton has already run up Green Mt. today and maybe even twice. The local peaks are frosted with frozen mist and semi-snow. My friends just got back from the R2R2R at the Grand Canyon, other folks have run and ridden past my window diligently completing their workouts and yet here I sit in my dark room following aimlessly from one site to the next wondering how others are getting ready for races and other activities for this weekend and next. Too much time to think. I listened to Hal Koerner's interview podcast (thanks to George for promoting it on his blog). Hal seems like a nice guy and I like his attitude and approach to running and racing. Just like this day so far, I'll just let this post trail off with no direct closure... Now it's snowing.*.*.
21 April 2010
When I saw this vehicle (and snapped a shot of it) I had conflicting reactions of being appalled and envious. I can point out some of the subtle treasures in this ride/home: The yellow cable is an extension cord used to plug into any outlet, giving electricity (let there be light!). Notice the pipes for plumbing(?) running around the giant black square thing on the roof that I've determined holds several gallons of water. I like the gutters on the rear section, equipped with a downspout. The shingle siding and corrugated steel roof is nice. The satellite dish is just over the top. (that's sarcasm).
I hand wrote this long diatribe about the "festivities" for 4/20 celebrations yesterday. It's long, so I'll summarize it as greasy losers who don't know what point they're trying to make and just want to express their love of killing brain cells to the world. A side note is that the grimy sueders (that's what we called them in high school - none of whom ever amounted to anything more than tenants in their parents home well into their 30's) clogged up traffic on Broadway.
Running. So, everything is going well. I feel strong and ready for the race. I feel disjointed in the conflict that is the taper. Today, I headed out for 17 miles on rolling trails, enjoying most of it until the chafing aggravated me to the point where I was probably running 6 min miles to get home. I'll probably hit 60 miles this week and 20 next week before the race.
18 April 2010
I debated where to run today. I knew I wanted some elevation and a couple hours, so I considered Mt. Falcon. In the end I opted to stay close to home and meet up with my nemesis, Walker Ranch. I'm not certain what it is about WR that makes my head hurt when I think about it. Maybe it's that no matter which direction I choose to run it I always feel like I'm going uphill. It doesn't help that every time I've run it the weather has been cold and windy and often accompanied with type sort of precipitation.
Today is nice, upper 60s and sunny, so I figured I'd give another shot to see if WR and I could come to some sort of agreement.
I started out from Eldorado Springs and made my way over to the loop. Here's where I started the loop:
[caption id="attachment_117" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="As you can see, I'm extremely coordinated."][/caption]
One thing I realized today is that I don't like compression shorts anymore. When I felt I was quite alone I tore them off and stuffed them in my race vest. Now I'm certain to get the chafing of a lifetime on my next longer run but that's what callouses are for.
I seemed to be the only runner on Walker but I did pass at least 15 mtn bikers, all of whom were polite and gracious. I was envious because WR is a course I'd love to zip around on a mtn bike. Maybe sometime. In this photo (you'll have to click on it to get a big version) you can see the trail that I had already run and it's dotted with mtn bikers.
[caption id="attachment_118" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The direction I ran it was running away from your perspective then turns at the clump of trees and heads to the right of the photo."][/caption]
The only mishap was when I slipped off a rock I was going to use to help me get across a stream (a cold stream). I landed on my hip then my elbow, thus jamming my shoulder into my ear and ended up sitting in the stream. Who knew a wet rock would be slippery?
[caption id="attachment_132" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption=""rinsing" off my shoes."][/caption]
I made my way back over/down to Eldorado Springs and did some extra mileage on the road to even the total run up to 20 miles and over 4,000 ft ascent in 3 hrs 20 mins (greased lightning 10 min/mi pace).
So, this week looks pretty solid again:
4/12 - 4/18:
90 miles in a bit over 13 hours in 5 runs
Mon: 12 mi with a trip up Mt. Sanitas
Wed: 15 mi flat on S. Boulder Creek trail
Thurs: 26 mi with Tim W. all over the damn place
Sat: 17 mi rolling trails with short tempo
Sun: 20 mi Eldo & Walker Ranch (my new friend...sort of)
17 April 2010
I don't know why but for some reason I like taking photos of training food; must be the pretty colors. A couple of side notes: I miss the old packaging of the Clif Bloks. Those particular flavor Clif Bars are what I'd take to a deserted island for the rest of my life. The Honey Stinger things are questionable.
After the long run Thursday I had a little muscle pain in my lower right leg, like from the knee down to and hooking under my ankle on the outside of the leg. It was that tendonitis ache-type pain. It was bad enough that it kept me from sleeping well. I was nervous/angry about it but then remembered a line from some ultra site about ultra humor. A woman wrote that the day after her husband ran a 100 mile race he was hobbling down the stairs, swollen joints, no toenails and he stopped in front of her and said, "I have this pain in my ankle and I can't figure out why."
Of course I'm going to have little aches and not feel 100% after a marathon distance run over technical trails. After taking a day off (yesterday) I headed out to do the same 17 mile route I did last Friday. It went well and I actually ran it five minutes faster at an easier perceived effort. No pains anywhere. I was a little sluggish for the first ten minutes but then loosened up and rolled at a comfortable but quick pace.
Tomorrow I plan to head down to Morrison and the Mt. Falcon trails. I haven't run there since '08 and always enjoyed it, so I'm looking forward to it. This should end up being another decent week of higher mileage (for me) done over few (5) runs.
15 April 2010
I'm talking about the new trails we stitched together with some old and somewhat overgrown trails to lay down a great morning of running from the front of Bear out and around Eldorado Canyon.
We maintained a steady pace throughout our 3 hrs 45 mins on the trails, jabbering along the entire way (he's calling it 25 miles, I'm calling it 26, only because that's about what the pace felt like). T-Dub forgot all his food he had for us in his truck, and I only had three gels, so it was a bit of an experiment in a little bonking for a couple of minutes for Tim. It was the only time I could keep up with the guy!
Overall, an excellent time. The weather was/is perfect with solid blue sky and no wind; we made the best of it for sure. This is my last longer run before the Miwok 10ok on May 1. I'm feeling pretty good at this point and looking forward to running well there. Tim suggested I use the body builder tapering method of no carbs and no water for two weeks before the event. He says it'll make me look ripped down and great at the start. I think he was joking but I'll consider it since looking fast is pretty important.
14 April 2010
11 April 2010
I've always been sensitive and observant of stark contrasts in my life, cold/hot, bright/dark, quiet/loud. This week was almost a complete contrast with last week, in terms of running anyway. Last week was a series of group and friend runs, in which I ran once alone. This week I ran solo for all but today.
Today, I met my favorite running couple at Buffalo Creek (Pine CO). After a little snafu of where we were supposed to meet, we finally got together and started at 11am. This run served a couple of purposes: I wanted to run with Steve and Kathleen (happytrails) and I wanted to do the first of several reconnaissance runs on the North Fork 50 mile race course. I succeeded on both fronts.
The weather was perfect, warm, sunny, no wind. We rolled out and maintained a comfortable pace for 11 miles at which point I ran a bit off the front at an aggressive pace, mostly to shake the aches in my hips and to get a feel for the course at race pace. I picked a good spot because it was an almost constant rolling, winding single track that dropped about 1,300 feet in around 6 miles. Other than having been out of water for quite a while, I was in a groove and enjoying the run tremendously.
[caption id="attachment_86" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Mile 10.53. I look like a blind, autistic child."][/caption]
A leg soak in a cold mountain stream put pain into perspective, but it was so worthwhile. We finished the run with a nice little tailgate picnic of black forest ham, salami, two kinds of cheese, sub rolls, chips, pretzels, and fruit (thanks so much, Steve and Kathleen!!!). What a great day!
So, with today, the week was solid:
81 miles in 5 runs in a bit over 11 hours
Mon: 7 miles
Wed: 27 miles, steady and easy
Fri: 17 miles with a few 3-5 min fartleks
Sat: 11 miles, steady and easy recovery
Sun: 19 miles, 2:55, good rollers and steady, longer climbs, between 6,500 ft and 8,100 ft
Feeling solid and looking forward to a good season of racing and running.
10 April 2010
Instead of running with the guys in the frigid air at 7:30am this morning I slept in and am now wasting more time until the temperature gets closer to 60 degrees. Well, it's not really wasting time. Shoe reviews by normal shmucks like myself who pay full price for their shoes can offer an objective perspective, unlike those sponsored folks who always gush about how great their gear is and how they couldn't survive without it. "Oh, I almost fell off that cliff side trail if not for the traction of my [insert brand with complimentary adjective] shoes." Whatever. I may not have a shoe sponsor but at least I can wear and try shoes I honestly like.
This leads us to the Brooks Cascadia, a shoe I've been curious about for two years and just now got around to trying. I think I was cautious about the Cascadia because (especially in its former burgundy color) it resembled my Mizuno Ascends, shoes I abhor and feel like tire tread with fabric loosely sewn onto for the upper. Now that the Cascadia comes in a cool, pea green (they call it "Spy Wasabi"-wow, they pay the guy who came up with that too much) I think they're rather cool looking.
[caption id="attachment_78" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Notice the one, level tread from toe to heel with subtle yet effective knobbies"][/caption]
When I tried them on in the store, Forward Motion in the East Bay, it was the day after a 50k race, so my feet may have been a little swollen. Which is fine but my big toe seemed to push on the inner side and over the side of the sole a little. I have heard about this same problem from a friend but chose to get them anyway.
Yesterday, I took them out for a 17 mile voyage on rocky, rolling trails with some muddy spots thrown in. The shoes are light enough as they are but feel even lighter on the trail. I thought about this a lot during the run and decided it must be the responsive cushioning and that springy sensation must add to the light feeling. Another thing I noticed is that the sole is all one level allowing for constant contact during the roll from heel to midfoot to toe. Periodically, I purposely ran from from rock to rock, trying to land on the top of the sharpest ones and was impressed with the protective nature of the soles.
They fit true to size; I wear a 10.5 in just about everything for running and these are the same with a normal width and low volume (not sloppy big). They feel a lot like a road shoe, which is probably due to Brooks (with Scott Jurek's input) making them with a lighter and more breathable upper.
Overall, I am impressed with the Cascadia, to the point where I'm probably going to wear them for my next race (Miwok) instead of my beloved Montrail Streaks - sorry Montrail, too bad, so sad.
07 April 2010
After about 22 miles on the flat S. Boulder Creek path I convinced myself to head over to the U of CO cross country course and do a lap there before dragging myself up the last mile to my place. I don't have a fancy watch like Tim W but if I did and if it showed more than just minutes and seconds on the chrono, there'd be a "3" in front of the numbers:
[caption id="attachment_68" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="$12 and I've had it nine years"][/caption]
One of these days I'll take the time to learn how to use my camera too.
All in all a good run for me. No pains, steady enough pace. And done on the worst weather day of the week (sunny and 60's the rest of the week).
3 hrs 40 mins
[caption id="attachment_70" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Post run with Pippit (my best friend, ever). That's Bear Mtn poking up in the left of the photo."][/caption]
04 April 2010
We'll get back to the title in a minute.
Good week for me. 75 miles / 13 hrs / 16,000+ feet climb
After yesterday's 17 miles and 4,500 ft (I know it's more but I'm too lazy to look it up), I needed an easier day. Unfortunately, I also wanted to run with my friends Steve and Kathleen (happytrails88.blogspot.com), so I headed down to meet them on some nice trails next to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. They further enticed me with the lure of mexican food post run. I met them at the guard gate at 10:30am and we drove over to the trail head. The run was casual with some nice climb to it in rolling hills and a couple of nice little switchbacks. My legs never came around and I'm still sucking wind after spending the last year at 23 ft elevation. However, even at apx 7,000 ft elevation and 2 hours on the trail, I managed to really enjoy the day. The conditions could not have been better, light wind, blue sky, near 60 degrees, great conversation with two of the nicest people I think I've ever met.
After the run we went out for some highly desired Mexican food. As we're getting out of the cars a guy keeps looking at Steve and Kathleen (Kathleen mostly) and finally gets to the door and holds it open for us (for them mostly) and says, "do you guys have a blog?" His name is Luis and enjoys their blog on a regular basis. To Steve and Kathleen's credit, they said, "He has a blog too" while jabbing a thumb in my direction. Luis never acknowledged that he ever saw my blog, or my existence in the doorway at that point for that matter.
The rest of the week was a patchwork of catching up with friends and making new ones, all under the needle and thread guide of running.
Mon: 1:20 on Mesa trail alone at a good clip
Tues: 50 mins with a trip up Sanitas
Wed: 4:14 with Tim Waggoner all around Mesa trail and up Green Mtn.
Fri: 1:20 trip up Green Mtn with Jeff Valliere
Sat: 3:10 Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch loop and back
Sun: 2:20 Falcon Trail (CO Springs) with Steve and Kathleen
With the 50k two weeks ago and a couple of good weeks I've decided (90%) that I'm not going to run the double crossing of the Grand Canyon on the 17th, just two weeks before Miwok. I knew deep down that doing a tough run like the R2R2R so close to Miwok would have definite negative effects on my run there. I'd actually like to do well, i.e. finish and maybe run decently enough to go under 10 hours. I'll likely still go to the Grand Canyon and maybe run down to the river and back and take a bunch of photos and be a sightseer.
This coming week I hope to do more steady runs with a bit less vertical climb.