26 October 2010

Of Famous Authors and Fictional Characters

As Pedatella aptly predicted I will be heading to Missouri for the Ozark Trail 100 on Nov. 6th. The race takes place in the Mark Twain National Forest and is a point to point run on the Ozark Trail featuring 12-15000 feet of climbing. In its inaugural year Jeff Browning took the crown in 18:38. My goal is to run sub 20 and anything faster will be extra gravy. 100's are still the mystery race for me...and it is a mystery I want to solve with each one I run. My PR for the distance at Leadville 09 of 20:51 encourages me that there are faster times to come. In less than two weeks I get to put myself to the test, this time with no pacers...

My dad and I are roadtripping to the race and he will captain the bare bones crew. It will be awesome to see him at various spots along the trail. This will be my first pacerless 100 and I'm looking forward to the added challenge to run Meltzer-style. With about 11 hours from sunrise to sunset this race will add a longer bout of night running compared to other 100's.

Since Steamboat I've had some solid training. I put a 22 day streak under my belt with 20 of those days being in the double digits (I'm not much of a streaker and this is a new record for me!) with a long run of 42 at the Grand Canyon R2R2R a few weeks ago. BTW...the Grand Canyon trip was a ton of fun! It was great to run with and spend some quality time with Doug, Duncan, Scott and our adventure seeking wives. It was a special night after the run eating food, drinking sparkling water, listening to Kir play the guitar and lounging around the campfire...This run also hit me with the realization of how small the Ultra community is as I ran into Eric Lee and JZ from the Fort Collins Trail Running Crew....small world! Clark, next time you'll have to make it happen!

This past week I also got signed up for Western States! I have officially entered and paid my $370. I guess it costs more to race in California...it is by far the most coin I've put down for a race...time to train hard and get my money's worth! Running the Ozark Trail 100 will be another race to build experience at this humbling distance. Each time I think about Missouri or read about the Mark Twain Nat'l Forest I daydream about the fictional characters of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn running the trails....until then...

20 October 2010

The Staple- Statistics & Signal Peak: 100 Summits!!!

Pics from #100

The Staple- Statistics & Signal Peak: 100 Summits atop the Source @ 9042 feet

Signal Peak was my introduction to running when Meg and I moved to Gunnison in the middle of January this year. As I explored the trails above Western State College I noticed a pyramidal point looming to the Northeast. I followed the ridge by eyesight and knew I had to run it. After a few more runs in and around the area I asked DC about this point.

He grinned and said, “Oh yes, that is Signal Peak!” The point had a name and was a semi-regular run for DC in previous years. Soon after we began to run it with more and more frequency. It was the beginning of February and the route had been hardpacked by some sort of ATV that substantially assisted with obtaining some of the winter summits.

Our runs would start at 6 AM and we would ascend with the rising sun in subzero temperatures. On one of these dry and cold mornings we had been updating each other with the latest news from the ultrarunning blogosphere. We had both recently read about Tony K and his quest to run Green Mtn in Boulder 100 times in the first 100 days of 2010. This sparked some thinking of our own to piggyback off of the idea and create or own type of ascent goal in the Gunnison Country.

Being a Libra I have a natural tendency to gravitate towards balance and moderation in my life; I was also coming off a bout of achilles tendonitis- I knew I wouldn’t be running Signal Peak day after day. Besides, I had just moved to Gunni and had tons of new trails and terrain to explore. Parr also gave me a list of 60 or so named runs in the Gunnison valley that I had to begin to tick off with him and other Gunni runners.

After more discussion DC and I set the goal of running Signal Peak at least 100 times in 2010. Two weeks ago DC notched his 100th summit to become the first person in the history of Gunnison County to run 100 Signals in a calendar year. The following is a compilation of the NUMBERS that have accumulated during my 100 summits which I completed on October 19th, 2010 to coincide with DC’s 28th B-Day. Happy Birthday Duncan; here’s to 200 in 2011...

Summits: 100 in 38 weeks = 2.6 summits a week

Miles: 1,195.7 = 11.957 miles per summit run

Vertical: 150,000 feet

Most summits in 1 week: 6 (twice) 9/6 thru 9/12, #’s 77-82, 9/27 thru 10/3, #’s 86-91

Most consecutive summits: 8 4/2 thru 4/9, #’s 20-27

Most Signal miles in 1 week: 82.7 9/6 thru 9/12, #’s 77-82

Shortest summit: 9.6 miles (multiple times)

Longest summit: 20 miles, 5/8, #39

Earliest Summit: 5:40 AM (multiple times due to 4:45 AM start time :)

Latest Summit: 8:50 PM, 5/29, #47

Yearly Progress:

#1- 2/5
#25- 4/7
#50- 6/3
#75- 9/2
#92- 10/5 MY B-DAY
#100- 10/19 DC B-DAY

Monthly Summits:

Jan- 0
Feb- 11 #’s 1-11
Mar- 8 #’s 12-19
Apr- 15 #’s 20-34
May- 13 #’s 35-47
Jun- 14 #’s 48-61
Jul- 8 #’s 62-69
Aug- 5 #’s 70-74
Sep- 15 #’s 75-89
Oct- 11 #’s 90-100 (thru 10/19)

5 or more summits in 1 week:

2/15 thru 2/21, #’s 6-10 = 5
3/29 thru 4/4, #’s 18-22 = 5
4/5 thru 4/11, #’s 23-27 = 5
5/3 thru 5/9, #’s 35-39 = 5
9/6 thru 9/12, #’s 77-82 = 6
9/27 thru 10/3, #’s 86-91 = 6
10/4 thru 10/10, #’s 92-96 = 5

0 summit weeks :(

3/8 thru 3/14, Excuse: too much snow didn’t want to deal!
7/26 thru 8/1, Excuse: GM 100 Recovery
8/2 thru 8/8, Excuse: Left knee issues
8/16 thru 8/22, Excuse: Left knee issues
9/20 thru 9/26, Excuse: Easy week after Steamboat 50

Runners I’ve peaked with: (from most summit trips to least)

Duncan Callahan
Scott Drum
Tim Parr
Ben Dunn

Current counts: (As a group of 4 our goal is to hit 365 summits for 2010)

DC- 105
Burch- 100
Parr- 44
Drum- 24
Total: 273

In summation: Signal Peak represents consistency, strength, perseverance, and a yearly commitment to experience the Peak in all conditions throughout the 4 seasons the Gunnison Country will bring. Annual training goals assist in motivation through the tough training during the winter months.

With each day and each summit Signal is quietly gaining cult status here in Gunnison amongst other runners and athletes. If you come to town it is a must run...it should be your first! Rural legend has it that a WATCHMAN now observes all atop Signal Peak. Introduce yourself; the trip could blow your mind..........................................................

14 October 2010

Tis Grand!

Quick update...6 hours until the Grand Canyon R2R2R road trip begins! Can't wait to soak in some AZ sun with friends and family and then catch some inspiring views as we dip below the rim. This will be the second R2R2R trip for me- the first came in 2006 when Doug and I were ultra rookies and living the bachelor life as roommates. Now we've got some ultra experience and both married...how time flies! This year it will be the Callahan, Drum, Newton, and Burch families making the voyage with a possible Parr sighting sometime during the weekend. More to come upon return. Also, I am keeping the 2010 race season alive! I just registered for another 100 Miler! And lastly, the 100 Signal Summits for 2010 is just around the corner! What an epic year with more to come! I can't believe my morning runs have already dipped into the mid 20's! (and still rockin' the shorts!) Old Man Winter has begun to bring his cold to Gunnison!