13 November 2011

Competitive Eating and Ultrarunning

Lately a few of us in Fort Collins have been running and sharing many tempeh burgers together at Avo's. Amongst our many conversations is that of competitive eating. For some strange reason I've been intrigued, mortified, and brought to my knees in laughter when watching people take on eating challenges. Over the last few years I've enjoyed hearing the stories of Fast Ed and Team CRUD in action. When you mix fast running and eating a lot of food the results yield comedy.

Our inaugural event began modestly with the Saltine Challenge. It appears terribly easy but has left the largest egos wishing for a larger salivary gland. Results below:

Burch-DNF
Clark-DNF
Jones-DNF
Marks-DNF
Stefanovic-DNF

After being consumed by the jaws of defeat we got serious. To achieve glory one must think, train, and apply that body of work to a given task. Stefanovic began breaking breaking it down through the laws of engineering. Marks began to channel his inner eater. Jones began experimenting with hydration levels. Clark gave up; stymied by weak salivary gland output. I simply instigated and encouraged the team to achieve greatness.

Once the rigorous training period was complete we learned a few things. 1. Get hydrated! All cells need the max amount of water to allow full salivary gland functioning. 2. Two saltines at a time. The buddy system is tried and true. No lonely crackers for this challenge. 3. Look at the others around the table. Do you trust them? If you bite off more than you can chew who can provide CPR or the Heimlich?

The data was tallied and on his second attempt a victor emerged. I'm proud to announce that my taller, faster, curly haired younger brother took the crown! As I write this he is currently preparing to shock the world by dethroning the current champ and CR holder at the upcoming VBM in December. He's been studying tape and learning tips from Joey "The Jaws" Chestnut.

My best guess is that ultrarunning and competitive eating have a lot more in common in their collective communities than most of us might think. Ultrarunners don't bat an eyelash when discussing the latest 100 mile race they completed while eavesdroppers appear slightly shocked. It has to be eerily similar when a competitive eater talks strategy after putting down 77 pieces of pizza in 10 minutes. With Thanksgiving around the corner take the time to eat and be merry. Don't fret- with Chubby Cheeks sandwiched between Thanksgiving and Christmas there's ample opportunity to regain that pre-Holiday figure. Time to eat and run!

21 September 2011

Steamboat Survivor


Photo: Jesse Malman

Photo: Dylan Bowman

"The mountains win again." John Popper of Blues Traveler sang about the truth that most of us forgot at this years Run Rabbit Run Steamboat 50. The size of any ego can be crushed in the blink of an eye in the mountain environment...tread lightly, and remember your coat! Crazy, epic weather that hits the fan tends to be the nightmare of most race directors I've spoken with. Then add to the equation that this weather is nuking above 10,000 feet and doesn't care if you're prepared or not. It cannot be harnessed, tamed, or caged; it voraciously yells, "Winter is coming!"

I had the audacity to run this race in shorts, shirt, arm warmers, and gloves...and I thought I had overdressed for the day. The night before I debated on going with a singlet and shorts. Thanks to the sage advice from my mother and friends I chose to bundle up. This decision probably saved my race. The minimal ounces that covered my arms and hands were worth their weight in gold! The forecast called for temps in the 40's-60's with a 50% chance of scattered showers throughout the day. I need to mention this forecast was for Steamboat proper- not the mountains high above Steamboat!

Last Saturday was the toughest conditions I've raced in. In 2009 I shivered my way through the memorable Lake City 50 blizzard. The difference was the rain and huge wind gusts at Steamboat. Snow is much more tolerable than rain that soaks you to the bone. I like to go light and fast- especially in races- and I definitely walked the hypothermic line- allowing my big toe to spill across that muddy line ever so slightly at times. This was one to remember. A job well done to RD Fred Abramowitz and his INCREDIBLE volunteers who thoroughly treated many a hypothermic runner last Saturday. Adversity tests character. Huge congratulations to each finisher that got it done! Good call to each runner who knew when to say when...there's always another race. Thanks to all the volunteers, spectators, and runners who selflessly gave articles of clothing to others to make sure everyone remained safe. This was a testament to the quality of people who participate in this sport.

To the race... I knew coming into this one that I needed REST. I knew I didn't have the A Game or the B Game. I knew it was gonna hurt- it did. I knew I was gonna ache- I did. I knew it was going to be a grind- it was...more than I expected. I just wanted to race with what I had and let the cards fall where they may. So why race? I asked myself this question many times before toeing the line. The answer was not an epiphany or a revelation. It was simple. I wanted to have a fun weekend in the mountains of Steamboat with Megan, my mom, friends, and I really like the singletrack section of this race. And running is all about streaks so I had to make it 5 for 5 at Run Rabbit Run.

The race opens with a 3500 foot climb over 6 miles. It was a muddy start with the worst of it closest to the Start/Finish line. I ran steady on this and watched Horsecow, Bonnet, Zeke, El Jefe, and Fanselow glide above me. Towards the top my friend and training partner and master of all things baked joined me for some brief conversation and then cruised by. Once I hit the summit I got really excited for the upcoming 15 miles of posh singletrack. When you know your day is going to be a grind you gotta run to your strengths. With this said I let gravity take hold of me as I simply leaned forward and let the legs spin down the trail. Running downhill, especially on singletrack is just SO fun to me. A few minutes later I found myself in 1st. I had to see what the legs had in them. It was one of those days as I felt like I was at mile 70 in a 100 miler when it was mile 9. Uh-oh!

Zeke and I ran together for a few miles before the AS at 13. At one point I slipped and fell because of the banana peel mud- Zeke was right there to help me get back on my feet. Right before the aid I could hear El Jefe closing the gap on Zeke and I. At the 13 AS I was a bit surprised when they asked to see my identification. After a moment of hesitation the light bulb came on and I proceeded to pull out my wallet with the requisite License to Grind. After inspection they let me continue...minutes after Zeke and El Jefe were waived through. At first I thought it was my beard that got me held up at the checkpoint for random inspection...how did El Jefe sneak through? He's got a beard...must of been the curly hair.

That's the thing when you're grinding. You know you're moving less than ideal but it's discouraging as the runners in front of you get further and further ahead until out of sight. At about 15 Fanselow and I ran a few miles together which made it clip along. Through Dumont at 22 I moved into 3rd with a no hassle transition at the checkpoint. However, Fanselow was stopped for wearing some unidentifiable upper body accoutrements. Once he explained it was for a Braveheart reenactment they let him go- with chants of "Wallace, Wallace!" echoing through the trees.

Photo: Dylan Bowman

Soon thereafter Bill passed me again and we made our way up to the base of the Rabbit Ears. At the turn Zeke and El Jefe were a few minutes up and they slid down the mud glissade highway on the return trip to Dumont. I scratched the ears and then began the 1st aching descent of the day. By this point the legs were deep fried lead- the heavy of heavies. On the way down I could hear Bonnet catching up and Bill getting smaller and smaller out in front of me. At the aid I thought about grabbing my Geist vest on a number of occasions but decided to go without it because it was only sprinkling and I didn't want to get too hot.

This is where the fun begins. About 5 minutes later it started raining. Hard. I wonder how long this will last- it's probably just passing by- I can handle an hour or two in the rain- the sun will be out before I know it. (Insert awesome foresight comment here.) A few minutes later I saw Geoff running towards me with a few other runners who were headed to Dumont. He had camped out the night before and was getting in a pre UROC training run. It was unexpected and fun to see him so we started down the trail catching up a bit talking about the mountains, running, racing and other fun pursuits. During this time Bonnet and I began leapfrogging each other. I was defenseless at this point- One Gear McGee making his way down the trail. My legs were pretty gone. I showed Geoff this as I caught a toe and Supermanned into some mud. Aerobically it was a walk in the park. The pace was so casual I could easily converse with James and Geoff. The legs were cooked. Around 35 James stopped to pee and the hypothermia hit him in less than a minute. It was really cold.

Everything on me was soaked. Then the winds picked up. The trail began to resemble a stream. Everytime my foot splashed in the water I felt a wave of cold ascend up my leg to the top of my head. Stopping meant immediate hypothermia. My forehead was so cold it was perma brain freeze. My intellectual capacity went down a few notches and the reptilian brain took over. Just keep moving...just keep moving. At the 37 AS I filled my bottle, grabbed a few chews and was shivering pretty good in only 10 seconds of not running. Geoff and I got out of there! At this point we decided that staying together would be the smart thing to do in the interest of safety. It was great to have the company- sometimes it's easier to suffer with others.

Every now and then I would let out a few guttural man noises hoping these yells and angry bursts would warm me. They did not. The interesting thing is they gave me a sense of control over the situation. If I could yell out I knew I was fighting and alive- not giving in to the wet cold fog that was trying to envelope me. I began looking forward to the climbs. During these moments I could generate a smidgen of heat with the increased effort. On numerous occasions we felt like it was letting up and that the sun was just around the corner. "Come on sun!" was my battle cry. Our hopes would be up for a minute and then it would start nuking harder. More rain. Bigger wind gusts. And wait- there's now sleet and snow! Terrific. My favorite part was running through the open meadows with a 30MPH headwind hitting me full on while the rain poured. Mile 41 seemed to be the weather climax of wind, snow, and rain that effortlessly swirled through us.

Once we hit the top I knew I was home free. Six miles and a 3500 foot descent on a cruiser dirt road was all that separated me from hot pizza and a hot shower. Game on! Over the past few years this descent has taken me between :38-:42 minutes depending on how hard I'm pushing. This year was just shy of 1 hour! Needless to say I hurt. I ached. My left hamstring was really pissed at me. It was pathetic. And I was warming up! Over the course of the descent it warmed up 10-15 degrees as we neared 7000 feet. I was beginning to feel "normal" again. Despite moving like OMB I was thrilled that the end was near. It was awesome sharing some unique trail time with Geoff.

The finish line crowd started yelling at us to run faster. They saw one guy gimping his way in while the other was non-chalantly jogging just behind him. This was for the last spot at States! Were they gonna tie? Before the chute Geoff peeled off as I finished in what I thought was 4th place. "Who dropped?" I then learned that the hypothermia hit Bill around mile 37. The weather got the best of us today. The mountains win again.

After putting down a few piping pieces of pizza I made my way to the hotel to take the longest hottest shower ever. Amen.

14 September 2011

Thoughts on Steamboat


L to R: McHenry's and Arrowhead

L to R: Longs, Pagoda, Chiefs Head, Spearhead (center)

Looking down on the Arrowhead Arete

Steamboat is a special race for me in many ways. Back in 2008 it was the site of my first ultra win. It was a well earned W as Clark, Trapp, and myself went through the AS shoulder to shoulder at mile 37. Clark surged around 39- I thought he was gone- but he came back to me and I leapfrogged him around mile 42, grunted up the last climb, bombed the final 3000 foot descent and finished with a smile and some aching legs.

Steamboat is also a time to remember. During the inaugural run in 2007 I met Matt Morrill and Jenna Gruben. Jenna and I were the back to back winners in 2008 and 2009. I can vivdly remember the picture of Matt embracing Jenna at the finish line which made the paper the following morning celebrating her win and the couples upcoming trip to Nepal. Tragically, Jenna was not able to run in the physical form last year. It is her spirit which now resides over the course and reminds us to enjoy these beautiful trails and remember what is truly important.

I love Colorado trail running in the fall. It's a time to embrace the beauty of the high country before the snow drops and creates another majestic setting. This season is Colorado Soul Running time for me. All I want to do is run peaks, watch the leaves change, hear natures song, and feel the crisp air on my face. Despite the engaged senses I still forget how special the Colorado mountains are. Last Sunday all I wanted to do was stay on the summit and let the views speak to me about life. I've been up Glacier Gorge a half dozen times or so and it still continues to impress me.

Since Leadville my body has been needing major rest. I had a left knee and hamstring issue that eventually worked itself out. At one point I seriously considered not starting this one. I've gone back and forth with myself about smelling the wildflowers on this one and racing/grinding it out. I needed a test run to gauge my confidence to start. McHenry's gave me the confidence to start- how fast I run will be the big question. This one will be on base fitness. Since Leadville I've logged 59.4 miles in 10 runs. My long run was 12.2 miles. I've gone on 6 bike rides ranging from :50-1:40. I went on 2 hikes adding up to 14 miles. This is where I'm at. Saturday will be fun despite the outcome. This post may affect the odds :)

23 August 2011

Leadville 2011: Proud of a PR






First some pics.
This year at Leadville was another stepping stone for me. 100 milers are not my best distance by any means as most of you know. Because of this I have time and time again signed up for another one with the hopes of improving and learning from the beast. Throughout my trials and tribulations the beast has knocked me down, laughed at me, spit me out, and kicked dirt in my face. Each time in frustration I got up, said, "Never Again!" and then promptly gave the beast another $300. to kick my butt for another round. I am here to say that I beat the beast in this round and the saga will continue...There is a sense of satisfaction when a goal comes to fruition. It is even sweeter when it takes many attempts and failures for it to be realized. Running a strong second 50 had eluded me for 5 years and 7 different 100 mile races. Here's the beating I endured for the first 7 rounds:

Round 1: Leadville 2007- 28:18, Went out in 10, back in 18, walked the last 30, survived my first 100!
Round 2: Leadville 2008- 26:58, Went out in 9, back in 18, walked the last 30 (injury), never again!
Round 3: Hardrock 2009- DNF 42M, Nothing in the legs, chose not to walk 58 miles for 30+ hours
Round 4: Leadville 2009- 20:51, Went out in 8:30, back in 12:30, HUGE improvement, know I can do better for future races.
Round 5: Grand Mesa 2010- 23:26, 1st 50=8, 2nd 50=15.5, 5-7 bonus miles, epic, walked at least 20.
Round 6: Ozark Trail 2010- 21:49, 1st 50=8, 2nd 50= 14, didn't eat enough first half, fell off the wagon
Round 7: Western States 2011- DNF 70M, Severe poison oak/ivy reaction constricting airway, so random!

Round 8: Leadville 2011- 18:35, Went out in 8, back in 10:35, not bad, still room to improve :) Long overdue!
Round 8 was different. I finally gave the beast a taste of his own medicine. In the epic battle of Ryan vs. The Beast the 8th round goes to Ryan! TMI: In a weird way I feel like this post is turning into a Man vs. Food episode...Adam Richman and I have so much in common!

Drove up to Leadville Friday morning with Doug and took care of all the mandatory meetings and checkin. Pitched the tents and cooked dinner at Dooper's pad. Crawled into the sleeping bag around 9PM and slept between the storms until 3AM. At 4 we were running. It started off like a training run with the boys. Crackin' jokes, catching up, and endearingly teasing Callahan, Parr, and Bowman. I asked DC if his baby daughter had been starting out with bottles of Ultragen. Without skipping a beat he calmly said, "No, but she really likes the Optagen." I knew it was going to be a fun day.

Through Mayqueen there was a train of 7 with Arnstein and Brooks a few minutes up. Coming into Fish Hatchery it was Arnstein, Parr, Bowman, Sandes, and myself. Arnstein gapped the rest of us on the road while I eventually caught back up to the other 3 on the singletrack before Twin Lakes. Leaving Twin Lakes it was shoulder to shoulder with Parr and D-Bow with Sandes right behind us. Once we hit Hope Pass Parr and Sandes surged while Dylan and I hiked at a steady clip. Once we hit the Winfield road Parr and D-Bow slightly separated from me. Coming into Winfield Sandes was on his way out with Arnstein a few minutes back. Somewhere along the road Parr pulled over and I came into Winfield after Bowman in just under 8 hours. The return trip over Hope was hot and slow for me. The leaders were moving well while Parr was steadily catching me on the climb. Shortly after the Hopeless AS Parr passed me as I took in some extra fuel. On the descent I surprisingly passed Arnstein who had lost some time on the rocky downhill.

Back at Twin Lakes I took more time to refuel while Arnstein went through with a quick transition. Twin Lakes was encouraging as I got to see my family for the second time and pick up my friend and pacer Bryan Goding for the last 40 miles. By now I was sick of sugar. This has happened to me at other 100's- I simply get to the point where anything sweet becomes despised. The plan now was to eat the nonsweet options at the AS and TRY to stomach enough sweet death to get me to the next AS in one piece. BG and I got into rhythm and steadily started moving down the trail. Miles 65-75 were definitely my low of the race. Ironically I passed Arnstein while running down some smooth buffed out singletrack before we hit the road that would lead to the Halfpipe AS. When I got to Halfpipe I had my doubts- it felt like so many other Leadville moments. Mile 70 and I feel like crap. I began wondering how many miles of the last 30 I would be walking. Mile 70 is one of the biggest mental hurdles for me in a 100. I will be having a decent go and then get hammered. At the AS I sat down and began to refuel. Lots of watermelon, lots of potato soup, some oatmeal. I really was hoping for mashed potatoes but Hopeless was the one and only chance. During my feed Arnstein came through with Gorman seconds back. Gorman was licking his chops as he devoured all the roadkill he ran over.

After the feed I began walking. Solids take longer to hit the blood stream- once they did I started to trot and then jog and then run. At this point I was trying to avoid another 100 mile blowup. BG kept encouraging me to eat, drink, and care for myself. With each 5 calorie hit of Gu I would nearly vomit. It was the last thing I wanted to do but knew I had to. Get the cals down the hatch! It was a nauseous cycle but worked to get me into the next AS.

At Fish Hatch my spirit came back. Coming into the aid I got to see Doop, and Meg, and Scott, and then three women jumping up and down chanting, Burch! Burch! Burch! Was I hallucinating? As I drew closer I identified the one in the middle being Liz Drum. The other two were bundled up enough identification was impossible. I got into the AS and was greeted by my family. Fueled up, geared up, and was on my way. Upon exiting Fish Hatch Duncan was coming in.

A few miles up Powerline he made the pass climbing steady and strong. I asked him if this was going to be like our 2007 Moab Red Hot race where we constantly leapfrogged each other. He mentioned something about my propensity for downhill running. At the top of the pass I showed BG where I proposed to Megan. Special memories. In 2008 I was at the same spot at midnight! Such a different perspective seeing it in the light. BG and I kept motoring and came into Mayqueen feeling strong and ready to put this race to bed.

I eased off the emotional thinking and logically thought, "Stop and eat, you will run out of gas if you don't. I then saw DC exit once he heard me enter Mayqueen. The drama around Turquoise was starting to unfold! After a few cups of soup I rallied BG and we began the ending. Once we hit the singletrack we donned the headlamps. 15 minutes later Jeff Browning blew past me like I was standing still. This was the work of a Professional Closer- really cool to see firsthand. 30 minutes later I saw headlamps in front of me, as I neared it turned out to be DC. I encouraged him and moved forward. 15 minutes later I saw more headlamps. Really surprised when I saw it was Parr. Wished him the best and kept on. During our time around the lake it was all about the present moment. Don't worry what's ahead or what's behind- run simply in the moment. With the Zen Master by my side all I had to do was put one foot in front of the other. BG was my own Mr. Meyogi. "Ryan san, don't worry about the lights and cheering at Tabor, focus only on your breath and the step in front of you." Needless to say we had some good laughs in the present moment. A few times I focused a little too hard on the step in front of me as I would catch a toe and nearly yardsail into the lake. Thankfully my sensai said it was because of my core training that I remained upright.

Another cool experience was hearing all the cheers as we ran by all the campsites. By the time I finished other Leadvilles all these people were sleeping. Really cool to have all this positive energy hit me after 90+ miles of running. As we descended baby powerline I saw a headlamp. "Who is that?" I inquired. "Jeff's pacer" was the solemn response. Jeff was running well to say the least! After the flats we came upon the Boulevard. One last climb and I'd be home. Awesome to run 90% of this. BG would turn off his lamp and look backwards just in case we encountered some stealth boulevard creepers. At mile 97 I knew I had to eat one last time. I so wanted to run the tank out but knew better. I got a Blok down and almost lost it. For the last 37 miles I had been walking the puke line ever so close. Thought it was going to happen right then and there. Nada tostada. I kept moving feeling terrible. Soon after I saw the lights and the finish. I saw the clock- wanted to go sub 18:36 because 18:35 looks so much sexier. Ramped up the intensity, thanked BG for a great time, and put the head down until I crossed the line in 18:35:42.

Immediately upon finishing I doubled over while some photographer took picture upon picture of me bent over at the waist looking at the ground with a wry and pale pre puke smile on my face. The extra push at the end did me in. I managed to walk over to the scale for my final weigh in and then into the food tent. I felt horrible but knew I needed to eat and start the recovery. I spoke with Browning a few minutes with my face white as a ghost. I tried a sip of soup. Tasted terrible. Told everyone I was going to the med tent.

Once in the med tent I sat down on a cot and told them I was about to puke. They handed me a bowl. Staring at the yellow plastic I began to spin. Finally it began. I started dry heaving from the depths of my soul. Heave after heave and nothing was coming out. Thought I was having an oral alien birth. Finally, the one sip of soup I had came out. Felt so much better! It was kind of pathetic the low volume I put out. Was really hoping for some large projectile foreign object to emerge. It was out and I felt great. The eyes stopped watering and I decided to get in the sleeping bag and lay in the cot for awhile. 40 some minutes later Parr came to the tent and hopped into his own sleeping bag and cot next to mine. His wife took a picture of the two of us all cozy in the med tent. Can't wait to see it! Priceless...

Ultrarunning is inherently a selfish endeavor. With that said I need to thank a number of people for their support, encouragement, time, money, and understanding that brought me through this race and the time to train.

THANK YOU: Megan, Mom, Dad, Bridgett, Nate, Bryan, Doug, Kir, Chris, Jan, Damby, Scott, Liz, Bill, and any others I'm forgetting in this moment. Really grateful for the friendship in each of you.

SHOUT OUTS: D-BOW, super impressive! Keep doing what you're doing, really fun to watch your progression. Doug, another PR...you are a runner you know!? Aaron Marks and Brendan Trimboli- this is only the beginning, enjoy the journey.




11 August 2011

Longs Peak Speed Record? Keyhole Route R/T FKT 3:26:10


The Keyhole on a bluebird day

Summit Marker

Looking down the Homestretch

View from the top of the Trough

A hunters dream

What a peak!

This morning I went to Longs Peak to attempt the FKT for the Keyhole Route roundtrip. On July 27 I did a recon trip and snapped the photos that accompany this post. The existing FKT (that I know of) for the Keyhole Route was run by Bill Wright in a time of 3:35. He went up in 2:05 and down in 1:30. Here's a few of the links I found while researching: This one and this one. Since this record occurred in August of 2000 there is a strong possibility that during the last 11 years someone has run a faster time that was not recorded in a public forum. Let me know if you know of a faster time.

My previous best time ironically occurred during my recon trip a few weeks ago. I ran a 3:41- 2:01 up, 1:40 down. It was a pleasant surprise as I ran a 3 min PR from my last attempt of 3:44 in 2009. Below are the details of today's run.

Start/Finish Line- I started my watch in front of the Ranger Station where the paved sidewalk ends and the dirt trail begins. I have used this line for all my runs on Longs. For this route I stay on the trail the entire distance top to bottom- no cutting switchbacks to obtain a faster time. My watch ran continuously from beginning to end- no stops on summit/pee/eat/etc.

Splits:

Chasm Junction- :43
Granite Pass Junction- :56 (13)
Keyhole- 1:25 (29)
Summit- 1:59 (34)
Keyhole- 2:30 (31, 3 faster down)
Granite Pass Junction- 2:52 (22, 7 faster down)
Chasm Junction- 3:00 (8, 5 faster down)
Ranger Station End- 3:26:10 (26, 17 faster down)
Up- 1:59 (6 faster than Wright) Down- 1:27 (3 faster than Wright)

Comparatively to my run on July 27 I was faster at all splits except from the Keyhole up to the summit. My July attempt was done in 32 compared to the 34 today. I encountered a conga line of 8 hikers shortly after the Keyhole. I tried a parallel line beneath them but found myself traversing exposed slab so I retraced my path until I could get above them and proceed without traffic. Lost at least a minute with this decision. At the top of the trough I waited another minute while hikers descended the crux. This area can bottleneck very quickly! The narrows went smoothly as I could easily pass on either side of anybody. The homestretch was a zoo- I weaved in and out of 20-25 people until I reached the summit. I ran and tagged the Geological Survey Marker (official high point?)on the rock that has the summit register below it. I then descended through the masses once again. After the homestretch I was free and clear back to the Ranger Station. I could easily move around people through the narrows, down the trough, and through the boulderfield. Between route congestion and a routefinding error I lost an estimated 3-4 minutes. Not bad. One of the challenges of this route is the sheer number of people on it at any given time. If you are going for speed don't do it on a weekend or holiday! In 2009 I made this mistake and counted over 70 people that I passed on my ASCENT. This year I tried it on a Wednesday and a Thursday- starting between 8-8:30 and still encountered plenty. I think the best approach would be to start on a weekday around 3-4 PM with good weather. Minutes after finishing I went into the Ranger Station and asked if they knew of any faster times for the Keyhole route roundtrip. They didn't but were excited to hear about my run. I gave them all my splits which they wrote down along with my name, city of residence, phone number, and blog address for future FKT questions/inquiries. They were then going to forward the information to park information headquarters. They also mentioned that one of the climbing rangers is training to break the FKT roundtrip for the Cables Route. Apparently he is within 15 minutes of the record from his last attempt.

Here's what I brought with me:
1 20 oz. bottle of Nuun. Stashed the empty bottle at the Keyhole, picked up on my return and stored in the back waistband of my shorts for the descent.
1 package of Clif Bloks- ate 4 of the 6 before the keyhole, the last two after I finished.
Mountain Hardwear Geist Jacket tied around my waist- just in case.
Car key in back shorts pocket
Montrail Rogue Racers
Socks, Montrail hat, sunglasses, Mountain Hardwear shirt and shorts.

10 August 2011

Up and down: The account of recent summits, ridges, and valleys


The East Face of Mount Alice

The sunlight shows the way on Alice's Hourglass Ridge

Summit of Chiefs Head with Longs, Meeker and Pagoda behind me

Looking down at Blue Lake from Mt. Toll

On the East Ridge of Pawnee Peak

Megan glissading during the descent of Bill Weber Peak


Life has its shares of ups and downs. Lately I've encountered both in my personal life and running. When I'm going through a tough time, running in the mountains has brought stability, perspective, and the necessary processing to face the challenges that cross my path. Recently I've had the opportunity to explore some new peaks in RMNP and the Indian Peaks Wilderness. I am constantly refreshed, inspired, and leveled by the mountain beauty that calls out to be explored. Life is better above the trees; growth occurs when I apply what I've seen and learned on the mountain and take that knowledge and experience to the valley.

July 27: Longs Peak (14,255) Keyhole Route, 3:41, 2:01 ascent. Recon mission to check if and how much snow in the trough. Totally clear, going to give the FKT of 3:35 a shot in the near future.

July 30: 1. Sawtooth Mtn (12,304) 2. Algonquin (12,574) 3. Buchanan Peak aka Bill Weber Peak (12,391) Started at Middle St. Vrain TH, ascended Buchanan Pass, up Sawtooth, ridge to Algonquin, ridge to Bill Weber, descend to Red Deer Lake (3 sweet glissades!), Buchanan Pass Trail.

August 1: 1. Mt. Notabon (12,706) 2. Mt. Audubon (13,223) Started at Mitchell Lake TH. Out and back via Mt. Audubon Trail.

August 3: 1. Pawnee Peak (12,943) 2. Mount Toll (12,979) Started at Long Lake TH. Up Pawnee Pass Trail, ridge to Pawnee Peak, ridge to Mount Toll, descend to Blue Lake, Mitchell Lake Trail to TH, brief paved section to Long Lake TH.

August 5: 1. Mount Alice (13,310) 2. Chiefs Head Peak (13,579) Started at Wild Basin TH. Up to Thunder Lake, ascend Boulder/Grand Pass, ridge to Alice, descend Hourglass Ridge, ridge up to Chiefs Head, descend back to the Chiefs Head/Alice col, cross country down to Thunder Lake, back to Wild Basin.

August 6: 1. Mascot Peak (13,435) 2. Mount Yale (14,196) Started at Avalanche Gulch TH. Up Avalanche Gulch, up Yale's east ridge, descend ridge to saddle and up Mascot Peak's north ridge, up to summit, back to Yale's east ridge, summit, descend to Denny Creek TH, road back to Avalanche Gulch TH.


25 July 2011

Three Days of Peaks and Pics


Wetterhorn Summit: Drum, Newton, Parr, Burch

Matterhorn (foreground) Wetterhorn (background)

Uncompahgre Summit, Matterhorn and Wetterhorn behind Scott

Doug and Timmy (Uncompahgre background)

Herd of elk just below Storm Pass and the Baldys.

The Castles, photo from summit of West Elk Peak

RB & DC: Summit 12,964, Storm Pass below

DC & RB pointing to West Elk Peak

Drum signing West Elk Peak Summit Log. We were only the 3rd party to sign the log in 2011. Remote peaks.

Lately I've been ecstatic to run 3-4 MPH. This type of terrain has brought me back to my roots as of late. A few weeks ago I paced Doug at Hardrock. The time spent with him from Ouray to Telluride was the best day of running I've had all year. It rekindled my spirit for adventure running and exploring some of the most beautiful mountains on earth. Crossing the snowfields and ascending Virginius Pass flooded me with all the reasons why I run: mountains, adventure, beauty, friendship, exploration, perspective, and so much more! Needless to say it has been refreshing to get up some new and old peaks with friends of a like mind. All I want to do is run/hike up big mountains and link up summits via alpine ridges. Last Thurs, Fri, and Sat jumpstarted my soul.

Thursday: solo.
1. Redcloud- 1:16
2. Sunshine- 1:38
Back at Car- 2:45 (fill bottles)
3. Handies- 4:08
Back at Car- 4:52 + 4 min to make it an even 20M for the day
8350 ft. climbing, almost 15:00/mile

Friday: w/ Doug, Scott, Tim
1. Wetterhorn- 1:23
2. Matterhorn- 2:18
3. Uncompahgre- 3:47
Back at Car- 5:03, 18.2M
7000 ft. climbing, 16:40/mile

Saturday: w/ Scott and Duncan
1. Summit 12,964- 2:32
2. West Elk Peak- 2:47
Back at Car- 6:13, 27.2M, long way back loop with some cross country travel
5500 ft climbing, 13:45/mile

*Note- times listed represent time running/hiking. Watch was stopped anywhere b/t 5-15 min. on each summit.*

29 June 2011

Western States: Oil and Water



At the starting line countdown

Sometimes I think that 100 milers and me are like oil and water. I've had a few days now and many a great moment to digest everything that transpired during my race alongside thoughts about life, running, people, and the existence we share.

Here's the account of my drop: Around mile 68 I was feeling off. At this point I had started to slow down a bit after a great 8 miles with my friend and pacer Timmy Parr. I felt a little dizzy and weak. It had been about 45 minutes since my last calories. By this point I had had way too many Strawberry Banana gels. Seemed like the only flavor on the course! I opened one up, looked at it, got about half of it in my mouth and proceeded to have the single largest dry heave ever! Couldn't do that flavor anymore so I sipped some Nuun and decided to take a few extra minutes at the AS to refuel.

I refueled with a bunch of potatoes and Fritos. Still feeling off but still in the game. A few minutes later I set off to start working through the last 30 miles. Within a mile of leaving the AS I began to have difficulty swallowing. My airway was restricted and I would clear my throat to help exhale the air in my lungs. On two different occasions I sat down just off the trail to collect myself and see if I would magically feel better. I then would get up and start walking down the hill. I began to notice that the more I exerted the more restricted my airway felt. If you know the ABC's of first aid you know that A for Airway is the most vital. You must have a clear airway before you can begin CPR. I was worried and scared. This kinda thing had never happened to me before. I then told Timmy to run back up to the AS and get some assistance while I began the walk of shame back up to the AS.

It's a humbling experience to drop and then walk back up the hill to the previous AS while 30+ runners and their pacers come charging by. Many of these runners were my friends/teammates/people I knew through the ultra community. As they came by many were sincerely concerned and wanted to help. The last thing I wanted was to slow down another racer. I just said, "I'm fine, keep going." Thank you to everyone who passed by me during this point; your concern and well wishes were heartfelt.

Once I made my second trip to the Peachstone AS I sat down on a cot. As I looked to my right I saw Thornley wrapped up in blankets. What the heck was he doing here? We chatted briefly and I was glad to see him get warm enough to keep going and get another finish. Meanwhile they checked my vitals. Everything normal. I knew my day was done though. At rest my airway would open up more than during exertion but I did not want to risk anything and carry on. Thought about it a lot and knew it was the necessary decision.

During the next three hours I had the chance to reflect, refuel, and get way too existential as I watched other runners come and go as I sat in a beach chair wrapped with blankets. I had a pleasant time with the volunteers at Peachstone. Thanks again for taking care of me as I watched from the sideline. I appreciated all the grilled cheese sandwiches and cups of chicken noodle soup. Runners will never know the importance of AS volunteers and medical staff until they are in need. I am grateful for this lesson. More and more I'm learning about the symbiotic relationship between racers and race volunteers. Both need the other to accomplish their purpose for the day. The ultra community is a cool one to be apart of.

I learn the most from my defeats. I have gained needed perspective from my DNF's at HR and now WS. I believe that everything happens for a reason and it's my goal to learn and find the wisdom in these reasons. After talking with family, friends, and a few medical professionals I think my drop was due to an allergic reaction or a spontaneous bout of exercise induced asthma. I have seasonal allergies and think it could have been due to the different pollen and flora in California or some other airborne particle from the forest fires throughout the west.

Thanks: Timmy, Duncan, and Scott- awesome road trip and spending time with my Gunnison brothers. Grateful for the time, support, and money you spent to join me on this crazy DNF adventure. Team Montrail- big thanks for hosting all of us before the race and putting together a fun bbq. So good to meet and spend time with more Montrail runners and staff! Very fortunate to be with such a down to earth group. Peachstone AS- can't say enough of your service towards me. Truly grateful. Thanks to Peter for driving me to Auburn in time to see the finish! Thanks to MANY runners for their concern, kind words, and support. Congrats to the Research Monkey :) I'm glad one of us put in a good showing for the Fort!

My quest continues to put together a strong second 50 miles of a 100. I am eagerly waiting for the day when I realize and execute to my full potential at this distance. Leadville is just around the corner. ONE step at a time.

20 June 2011

From the archives...



Just been looking through old pics. The characters above will be representing Fort Collins, CO this Saturday! Getting excited and looking forward to running 100 miles, sitting for over 30 hours in the car, and bringing some great memories home with me.

In case you haven't seen the odds
Soon enough...Time to pack!

13 June 2011

Got Salt?


Pic: The aftermath of electrolyte residue after 3 hours in the low 80's

The heat training is on! I'm not one to don extra layers when the mercury is high to accomplish this- my internal furnace starts to go crazy even on extended runs in the mid 70's! A few people have asked me what I'm doing to prepare for the nauseating waves of heat I'll encounter at WS. Answer: Run after work when it's hot instead of before work when it is cool. That seems simple enough...except for the fact the WS temps could be 20-30 (gasp) degrees hotter than FoCo heat. This past weekend I got out on some hilly runs around noon to capitalize on the warmth. Mission accomplished!

I'm also happy to report that I emerged from the exhaustion cave. After Pocatello I was REALLY tired and fatigued. It was a week of intuitive training- I would run until tired...and most of these runs I felt tired in the first few blocks! I logged 35 miles for the week with a long run of 6.6! Last week started out the same way Monday through Wednesday. Then Wow! Thursday I felt normal, Friday I felt normal and then Saturday I was tired and heavy legged but got in my longest run since Pocatello. Sunday I felt like a runner again. This was very encouraging to say the least! The body is a mystery at times. 12 more days to get spry!

Last, a big shout out to Dylan Bowman for his win at the San Diego 100! Always good to see Colorado runners makin' waves in Cali! Looking forward to toeing the line with him, Callahan, Parr, and 800 others at Leadvegas this year.

03 June 2011

May numbers and a few thoughts about WS

MAY- Miles: 327.2, 10.5 miles/day, 4 days off (2 in a row, longest running drought of 2011)
YEAR- Miles: 1742.6, 11.5 miles/day, 9 days off, 3150 pushups, 6180 crunches, 747 pullups

22 days until Western States. 22 days to get the legs fresh. 22 days to visualize running smooth and effortless from Squaw Valley to Auburn. 22 days to reflect on where I've been and where I'm going. 22 days to train, taper, and talk about the race. 22 days to focus and wonder. 22 days of gratitude and thankfulness to those who have supported my passion and dreams. 22 days to think about the goals. 22 days and then it BEGINS. Begin with belief.

30 May 2011

Grindin' it out at Pocatello


Photo: Jared Campbell

The short of it: Had an awesome road trip to Idaho with friends, met a lot of cool people, ran a SWEET course, legs were flat as a pancake for this one.

First, another STUNNING performance by Montrail teammate Young Money (8:17) who finished 1st and collected a cool $500 for his effort. Wouldn't it be nice to make $10 bucks and change for each mile you run in a race? Second, congrats to Zach Miller (8:24) and Mike Foote (8:40) on their IMPRESSIVE finishes and rounding out a SOLID podium. Third, well done Team Montrai! Alongside Dakota, Joelle Vaught (9:31) won the women's crown convincingly, over 90 minutes ahead of Hardrock champ Diana Finkel. Montrail athletes earned 4 of the top 10 spots: 1-Jones, 4-Burch, 7-Hart, 8-Vaught! Fourth, well done road trip team! Doug Newton (one of the toughest men on earth) ran 11:38! BTW he ran Jemez the weekend before in 11:19! Two of the toughest 50's in back to back weekends- not too shabby for an old man :) His wife Kirstin Nelson ran a strong race in the 20 miler. Last but not least, Fort Collins local Aaron Marks got the job done in 13:01 for his 3rd 50 mile finish! Did you know that the night before the race he UPGRADED from the 50K to the 53M...way to go big! Fifth, great to share stories/laugh/chat with: Evan H, Luke N, Christian J, Jeremy H, Jason H, Bryon P, Bill G, Paul G, and many others! Sixth, I would HIGHLY recommend this race to anyone looking for a stout 50M with a variety of terrain during a turbulent time of the year. If you like the tough and dirty mountain races like Lake City or Jemez- do this one! Hardrock champ and RD Jared Campbell has it dialed. Jared and his team have faced more weather related adversity and challenging decisions than most RD's might see in a decade. Bottom line- they put on a great event and are prepared for it all.

As for me, it wasn't my day. I led the first 6 miles or so with DJ Money one step behind. After my sunglasses fell off my hat for the second time (I then put them on for the rest of the day) I stepped aside and had DJ take the lead- and that he did! He was within eyesight for the next four miles as I knew it was going to be a grind. Sometimes the three week window between ultras works well, other times it backfires. Worked great for DJ, not so grand for this old man! On the knife ridge climb I was passed by Luke Nelson, Mike Foote, and Zach Miller. At the plateau top I passed them and began the descent to City Creek TH. I knew it wasn't my day when the downhills weren't keeping me in the race. A few miles before City Creek Zach passed me on the downs like I was standing still; he was charging hard after Dakota looking strong and focused! On the Barkleyesque climb up a stream drainage Luke and Mike passed me. I passed Luke a few miles later and could barely see Mike minutes ahead. The climb up Scout Mtn was fun. Charging through mud, water, rocks, and then a few miles of slushy snow to the Famous AS where Roch and Karl were keeping all the runners fed and happy. I downed a bunch of peanut butter filled pretzels and washed them down with about 6 dixie cups of chicken broth. A few miles down the trail I remembered that I am vegetarian this year...woops!
Although I didn't have the mojo I kept grindin' it out. Mentally I felt amazing, fueling was brilliant, just no pow or zip in the legs. This was a great character building race. I knew I gave it all I had on race day despite being out of the race for the podium with sluggish stumps. I pulled into the AS at 45.6 at 7:37 with 7.4 to go. I knew I was moving slow but really wanted to break 9 hours. Got some Cheetos and started plugging away. The theme of the day remained constant- it took me 1:24:32 to cross the line-93 seconds too long to get it done! Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the course and will come back for some redemption and run a time I know I'm capable of.

The proof is in the pudding:

Leg 1- 16.9M, 4500 ft. ascent, 2:34, 9:07/mile
Leg 2- 15.6M, 3600 ft. ascent, 2:40, 10:15/mile
Leg 3- 20.5M, 3900 ft. ascent, 3:47, 11:04/mile

Total- 53M, 12000 ft. ascent, 9:01, 10:13/mile

Not the race I wanted before WS. I took the last two days off from running. Starting tomorrow I have 25 days to rebound. Last time this happened was Hardrock 2009 where I DNF'd. This left me with some angst to race again so I signed up for the Leadville 50 that was 3 weeks later. I won it and set a then CR...gotta stay optimistic! Embrace the adversity...

On a side note I had a splendid time in the "banana peel" mud at Pocatello. The trail was "trench warfare" with each step!
Check out Jared Campbell's pics from the race.

25 May 2011

Pocatello 53M this weekend!

Well, it looks like Pocatello will be another weather adventure for 2011! I just checked the reports a few minutes ago: 38-58 degrees, 30% chance of precip, 10-15 MPH winds, a possible 1/2 inch of snow Friday night. You gotta love running in the mountains to sign up for this one. Last year it was cancelled after 50K because of epic blizzard conditions. This year the Portneuf Mtns near Pocatello are 200% above normal snowpack. Because of this factor the 2011 course has a rerouted 3rd leg- similar elevation gain and loss- but at lower elevation to reduce the amount of postholing. RD Jared Campbell said the regular 3rd leg is better suited for Rando racing right now! It's tough to imagine it being crazier than last year or the epic 2009 blizzard at Lake City. With that said, I will PROBABLY start the race with more than a shirt and shorts :) Expect the worst, hope for the best!

I'm really excited to run this year and compare the difficulty at Pocatello to that of Lake City and Jemez. With 12K of climb and descent mixed in with mud, postholing, stream crossings and more it should be a gem! Here's a recent update from the website. And a look at the other adventure seekers. With $500. up for grabs it should be a fast one.

In 2009 Dave James set the inaugural CR with a 9:16. His splits were: Leg 1-2:43, Leg 2-2:39, Leg 3- 3:51. Last year through 50K Scott Jaime and Joe Grant were on track to break the record. Scott's splits were: Leg 1-2:31,(+8), Leg 2- 2:30(+9). 17 minutes up with 20+ miles to go. As a first timer on the course and a snow routed 3rd leg it's tough to predict a finishing time for this one. I hope to run a similar 50K (5:03) time of Scott and Joe and see how the legs respond during the 3rd leg.

Since Collegiate Peaks I put in some lower volume (60M) maintenance weeks to shake out some of the sludge and fatigue from CP. The 4 days after racing I felt the best I ever had after a 50M. Then I got hit with some fatigue- general tiredness with normal runs feeling tougher than usual. My long runs were 16 and 18 each week-nothing fancy-mellow pace-solid elevation gain. The goal is to stay healthy (check), and get to the start line with a little more spring in my step (TBD). Nonetheless, excited to run in some new mtns, have an adventure, and bring home the stories and memories that make this sport what it is.

Finally, congrats to my friend from across the pond (Horsetooth Reservoir) Senor Nick "Flash the 2nd" Clark who ran splendidly to a new CR at Jemez! In a post race interview he mentioned there were no "niggles", the "pistons" were firing properly, and before his meal he was a bit "peckish." More here! Gotta love the accent and complimentary vocab! CAN'T WAIT until his DVD hits the shelves!

08 May 2011

Collegiate Peaks 2011








6:39 was the time that appeared during a number of my training runs leading up to the Collegiate Peaks 50 miler. I had been feeling good and looking forward to a solid race. One year ago I sandwiched the CPTR 25M between Fruita and Jemez to preview the course for a future run at the 50 miler. Thus, I knew what to look forward to!

Last year I ran a 3:05 at the 25 and rated my performance a B+ For the rest of the day I got to spectate and watch Andy Henshaw finish his first lap in 3:17 and go on to set a new CR of 6:52 besting Anton's 6:53 from 2007. Until this year, John Anderson was the only other sub 7 hour finisher.

One of my goals was to go sub 7 on Saturday. Looking at the entrants list I believed the winner would set a new CR. Duncan was looking strong 3 weeks after a solid win in Fruita. Dylan has hit a new level in his running. This was made even more evident at Antelope Island in March when he demolished my old CR by 16 minutes! Corey Hanson has steadily improved his performances this year and ran to a 50M PR at Fruita finishing second to Duncan. Sub 7 was one of my goals with that 6:39 continuing to surface in my thoughts.

As the race started I settled in with DC a few steps behind Dylan. After the pavement warmup we hit the smooth, sandy, dirt jeep roads that make up the bulk of the course. Through 18 miles Dylan and I exchanged the lead numerous times. I needed to lengthen my stride on the downs while he glided on the flats. This was textbook to our race in Moab where we finished within 3 minutes of each other. At the 18 AS he took an extra cup of drink while I continued on. From this point in the course is basically 7 miles of cruiser downhill/flat to the turnaround.

I finished the first lap in 3:08. Only 3 minutes slower than last year and I was going double the distance! It felt good- I knew I had cruised the downs and was running smooth. Dylan came in 90 seconds after me. I knew if I stayed consistent one or both of us would go under the record. Despite him being relatively close I never got a visual of Dylan and ran the second lap by myself thinking he was within striking distance. I stayed consistent on pace and fueling and was ironically looking forward to the last stretch of pavement! Once I hit the homestretch I got into the American River rhythm and clicked off the final miles finishing in 6:37. Showcased by the funny looking burn between the top of my sunglasses and the bottom of my bandanna, the sun shined on me this day. So where did that 6:39 come from?

Fuel: 4 packs of Clif Bloks, 1 Chocolate Cherry Clif Shot, 5 Nuun tablets, 1-2 cups of Coke at each AS during lap 2

Splits I remember: 25=3:08, 38=5:05, 44=5:53 50=6:37 Lap 1=3:08 Lap 2=3:29

11 April 2011

A Trip to the American River


This past weekend was a whole lot of fun! The 2.5 days in Cali felt like a week of warm sunshine refreshment. I'm really pleased with the race and fond of all the positive memories that highlighted the trip. I flew out to the race on Friday with my PI brothers- one the clean cut and self-proclaimed "Deano Latino" and the other wooly mammoth known to AJW as "Big Boy." After arriving in Sacramento we cruised the 5 in a Prius...not that this has any significance other than the fact it took us a few trys to figure out how to turn the darn thing on! More like riding in a space shuttle in the early going accompanied by a crazy sounding GPS navigational voice...

That night we got fueled up at the pre race meal. The cheese tortellini was amazing; probably a little too amazing...more on that in the race report. Anyhow, during the day the three of us talked race strategy and pacing and overanalyzed too many factors when thinking about the 50 miles we were to cover the next day. While MC'ing the panel during the dinner AJW brought it all back into perspective, "Tomorrow you're gonna run from Sacramento to Auburn." It's sound advice- SIMPLIFY!

Race day started a little after 3AM on Saturday morn. We hopped on the bus and arrived in Sacramento 1 hour before the start. A big thank you to RD Julie Fingar who kept us and some others warm before the start in a nearby office. On our way I was convinced we were looking for a warming hut...it was early...

As predicted the race started faster than any ultra I've been a part of. I did my best to find the fastest pace that wouldn't create any blood lactate in the muscles. For whatever reason my Garmin battery magically died the night before even after a full charge before the trip. This turned out to be a good thing- I simply ran by intuition. I ran in a mini peloton of 5 guys- one of which was Jacob Rydman. I found this out as the local received many GO JACOB encouragements along the beginning stretches of bike path.

Around mile 13 Jacob picked up the pace. The other 3 guys followed while I stayed at the same pace and began to find myself in No Man's Land. In many ways I like running by myself in a race so this turned out to be a good thing as well. I watched as the pack of 4 started falling off Jacob's pace one by one. Two hours in and that cheese tortellini caught up with me. A quick stop and I was back in rhythm. I then began to pass the other runners in the peloton that had been separated by Jacob. Around mile 20 I was surprised to pass Jacob who had looked so smooth on the pavement. Evidently his quads had burned out.

I went through the marathon 10 ticks before 2:55. This is the 3rd fastest marathon I've ran in my extensive road marathoning career :) Finally I hit dirt! Once I was on the trail I felt like a new man! On the pavement I built up plenty of aches, tightness, and yearning for a natural forgiving surface. American River is like eating a lot of mashed potatoes followed by a grand dessert! The bike path miles were bland and consistent. You knew you had to clean your plate though to get dessert. It was tasty! I loved changing up the muscle groups, going uphill, going downhill, and cruising along the rolling sections. At the AS at 35 I passed Deano Latino who said Senor was just a few minutes ahead. 15 miles to go and I was feeling good. For some reason the gels went down better during this race than any other. It was by far the most gels I've had in a 50M. It was solid and consistent energy all day! I pressed on wondering if I'd see the backs of any more runners.

When I got to the last AS at 48.5 I did a triple take as I thought I saw two Tony K's hanging out together. It was funny how closely they resembled him; the hair, beards, tan, and shoes were spot on! I was really psyched to see the last two mile markers come and go with relative ease. A glance at the watch and I kicked it into gear to go under 6:10.

The post race was also exceptional! Veggie burgers, music, and good people helped recharge the battery. It was fun to meet and chat with many of the Montrail Team for the first time. Congrats to Greenwood, Skaden, and Perry for their impressive finishes! Dinner that night brought together good laughs, good people, and good food! The next morning we got out on the WS100 course. Ran out to No Hands Bridge and back from the track with Perry as I wasn't feeling as spry as my older counterparts...fun to watch FastEd drop the hammer down the home stretch on Clark! Prophetic? We'll soon find out. Ladies and Gentlemen the time is now!

31 March 2011

1st Quarter Review and Grey Rock Summit

Wow! 2011 is flying by... here's a quick look at the numbers:

March YTD

Miles: 337.1 1067.8
Miles/Day: 10.9 11.8
Days Off: 3 3
Meat: 0 0
Alcohol: 0 0
Stretch/Roll: 23/31 79/90
Race Miles: 26 81
Race Reg: $40. $216.25
Pushups: 400 2300
Pullups: 128 497
Crunches: 900 4330

Tidbits for March: 3 long runs above 26.2- 1. Chubby Cheeks 50K with Clark. 2. Salida Marathon. 3. 26.7 tour of Lory/HTMP with 2009 Leadman Corey Hanson. BTW- Corey did all the bike events on a stiff frame single speed! Dipped under 31 for a Towers Road PR of 30:58.

And... DJ Money and I ran up Grey Rock last Sunday. Grey Rock is a short, steep, and technical trail northwest of Fort Collins. It offers 2300 ft. of climbing in 4.5 miles via the Meadows Trail or via the Summit Trail in 3.1 miles. It is a classic training ground for Fort Collins runners putting in the miles for Hardrock. Look for Pete Stevenson who probably holds the record for Grey Rock laps in one run...