22 February 2010

Running with the Champs...Untethered

Photo: Rob O'Dea

The picture above from the LT 100 start line in August ironically foreshadowed my current running situation here in February. It has been a fun ride training with Duncan and Tim these past few weeks. It still boggles my mind when I think of the talent I get to train with in a 3 mile radius from my front door. If I run east Duncan's home is less than a half mile warm-up. If I head west Tim's place is an easy 2.5 miles. I've always been thankful in the places I've lived and the training partners I've had that make the runs SO MUCH MORE FUN! Fort Collins was superb with Clark, Goding, and Hanson. Greeley was sweet with Doug Bell and the rest of the interval crew. Now it is surreal. The proximity alone is crazy to ponder. The positivity from these two has inspired me to go after the dream more intensely. I'm hoping we can align our schedules at least once this year and go for an all Gunnison podium sweep. To say the least, the last 8 days have been wonderful! The achilles issue subsided early last week and I've been excitedly running pain free for the first time in a few months. I've got my first solid block of training in:

2/14: 18 w/ Parr
2/15-2/19: 5 summits of Signal Peak, various routes, 2 with DC, 1 with Parr
2/20: 20 w/Parr
2/21: 13
Total: 8 days, 115 miles
Today: ? w/ Parr

The body has been responding awesome. I often joke that my only 100 mile weeks come when I run a 100 mile race. I look forward to 2010 and listening to the body as it handles a larger workload of 70-100 miles a week. One of my mantra's for this new year is...At least 10 a day for 2010. Simple and straightforward. My training has been building up to this over the past few years. Compared to the guys at the top I've been an ultra slacker when it comes to mileage :) Last year I was just shy of 2500 for the year with almost no running in November and December. I still feel like my best running is yet to come and I'm optimistic in the process and progression as another "experiment of one."

2010 Proposed Schedule

March: Salida 26.2
March: Antelope Island 50M (currently on the fence)
April: Fruita 50M
May: Collegiate Peaks 50M (Fruita recovery dependent)
May: Jemez 50M
June: Lake City 50M
July: TBD- North Fork 50M and Speedgoat 50K or Grand Mesa 50 or 100
Aug: Pikes Peak 26.2
Sept: Breck Crest? Imogene?
Sept. Steamboat 50M
Oct.-Dec: TBD

Another day at the office

16 February 2010

Moab's Red Hot 2010 Report: More pics

Before the race

Jeremy and Megan looking strong in the 33K

Dakota Jones and Doug Newton near the finish of the 50K+
Dakota was 3rd overall

Doug enjoying a well deserved post race meal

A few shout outs:

Congrats to CB runner Ben Dunn on a solid time in the 50K+
Congrats to Jared and the soon to be Mindy Campbell on their engagement!

Moab's Red Hot 2010 Report: Where to begin

It is my second time in the Gunnison Public Library today to write up this past weekend's events. During my first I received the following email from Steamboat 50 RD Fred Abramowitz that instantly changed the contents of this post:

On Saturday, February 13, Jenna Gruben, the heart and soul of our Run, Rabbit, Run, our tireless and selfless volunteer coordinator, a dedicated Steamboat Springs community volunteer and organizer, a woman loved by all fortunate enough to have known her, and our two-time our defending champ, died tragically in an automobile accident, returning home from doing what she loved - running a trail race. She and Matt Morrill had been married 6 months. She was 32.

Matt asked that information concerning services be forwarded to all.

Services will be held on Wednesday, February 17, at 10:15 am. at:

Temple Emanuel
51 Grape St.
Denver, CO.

There will be a service in the Temple followed by a burial procession. Immediately after, ALL are invited to Cheri's (Jenna's mother) home. Her address is:

Cheri Stanton
8250 S. Albion Street
Centennial, CO 80122

There has been discussion regarding a memorial service in Steamboat, but I don’t have those details at this time.

Donations can be made to the following organizations in Jenna’s name:

Humble Ranch Education & Therapy Center
P.O. Box 776290
Steamboat Springs, CO 80477

Yampa Valley Autism Program
P.O. Box 771824
Steamboat Springs, CO 80477

Megan and I met Jenna at the inaugural Steamboat 50 in 2007. It was always fun to catch up with her when our race schedules crossed paths. She always wore a smile and was an upbeat, welcoming individual who was easy to laugh with. My last memory of her was after Saturday's race. She told Megan and I about her honeymoon to Nepal and adventures with husband Matt. Jenna beamed. Earlier in the day I hiked up 2 miles from the finish to cheer on runners as they closed in on the day's journey. I cheered Jenna as she ran past; smile on her face and holding her hands in the air for me to see exclaiming with jubilation, "I just ate it!" Despite the fall Jenna ran past filled with joy; crossing the finish line of the 33k race in 4th place. Another outstanding finish! Not only did Jenna race well she gave back to the ultrarunning community even more in her service at the Steamboat 50. She will be missed. Megan and I send our condolences to her husband Matt, her family, and all others who have been impacted by her life. As a small tribute Megan and I will be wearing the name Jenna on our race shirts at each race this year to honor her life.

Jenna and Matt celebrate her victorious finish at the 2009 Steamboat 50 Courtesy: Steamboat Pilot

Last Saturday in Moab

09 February 2010

Darkness to Light = Gratitude

The achilles is coming along slowly but surely. I have been so grateful to run mostly pain free this past week; it has given me hope to test its mettle more and more. Training in Gunnison has been better than expected. Initially I was a bit reluctant to see how the body would handle much more cold than I'm accustomed to. Needless to say it hasn't been an issue. I know it's going to be cold and I prepare by wearing more layers than I ever have. It cracks me up when Duncan is so non-chalant when telling me he got some earlobe frostbite on one of our morning runs. Mental note- Gunnison toughens you up without you realizing it.

After a few days on the flat streets I tested the AT on some trail. In the past 5 days I've ran Signal Peak 3 times. This will be a bread and butter run, see: http://www.duncancallahanrunning.com. It has been great to start these runs at dark'O'thirty (6AM) and rise with the sun as we crest the peak. Beautiful alpenglow towards CB lit the sky in a warming pink hue this AM as Duncan, Ben, and I took in the 360 views. Life is good. It has been symbolic running in the early morning darkness and ascending up into the new morning light. It has paralleled the achilles improvement and feels like I'm moving out of my injured winter with a healthy spring on the horizon. My new goal is to be out amongst them at Salida in mid march. This will be a much needed fitness benchmark before the 50 milers begin.

This weekend brings forth Moab's Red Hot 50K+. Check out http://www.irunmountains.blogspot.com for some race predictions. I will be sitting this one out as I continue to heal. However, I will be volunteering at the race; parking cars as everyone arrives. Looking forward to the weekend. I will also be cheerleading as my wife is representing at the 33K race along with a bunch of friends who are doing either race. Good luck to all!

03 February 2010

New Beginnings

2010 marks the start of a new decade and many new changes in my life. First, Megan and I moved to Gunnison and finally obtained our goal of getting off the Front Range! Second, after returning from our extended honeymoon in NZ I acquired the injury bug upon my return to running. It has been a frustrating opening to 2010 to say the least. Achilles tendonitis has reared its ugly head; I managed to eek out 87 miles for January with close to 20 days of no running whatsoever. My goal is to begin the racing season healthy at the Fruita 50M. Since I began running ultras in 2006 this has been the first significant hiccup in my training. I feel blessed that this is the "worst" I've dealt with. It is ironic though that this injury came about after my 6 week break from running and not during a high volume training period...se la vi... Third, I started a running blog. So here's to Doug N, Bryan G, and everyone else who I told that I would never start blogging...this is dedicated to you!