30 November 2012

Quad Rock Registration Opens Tomorrow!!!

Ladies and Gents,

Registration for the Quad Rock 25 and 50 mile races opens tomorrow! Don't miss out on securing your spot to run the beautifully challenging trails that connect Lory and Horsetooth. The top three male and female finishers from the 50 will be returning to defend the podium. I'm looking forward to a deep field and some runners who could take the CR under 7 hours...Dakota, Tony, Sage...would be fun to see what you could lay down! And the post-race will be epic as well!

23 November 2012

Turkey Trottin' 2012

This past Wednesday I flew out to Wisconsin to enjoy Thanksgiving with the Burch clan. While waiting for my flight I bumped into Zeke. Check out his blog and welcome him to the blogosphere! It's always fun to run into friends unexpectedly and catch up a bit before the birds take to the sky.

Thanksgiving morning came and I was already properly stuffed from the previous evenings meal and the wondrous cooking of my Aunt Robin. Needless to say I was well fueled for the ensuing 5 miler. Lasagna and brownies stoked my fire... This was my third running at the 5th Annual Eau Claire, WI Turkey Trot. Two Turkey Days ago I finished second (30:32) on a snowy/icy course in cold and windy conditions. For 2012 I was going for the win!

Unseasonably warm temps brought forth a dry course and a faster field. While packing on Tuesday night I threw in a pair of shorts and a s/s shirt to wear around the house, never anticipating that I might run in them. Maybe I should have taken 20 seconds and checked the weather. But this was late November in Wisconsin. I've experienced near frost-bite winter running here before. My nose, ears, fingers, toes, and other digits can fondly remember the sweet stinging sensation that comes with rewarming.

7:30 AM. The outside thermometer on one of the local banks reads 55 degrees. Twas a scorcher to say the least. Now I felt overdressed in shorts and a tee. After the singing of our National Anthem I looked at the competition and knew I had my work cut out for me. There were a handful of youngsters that fit the part of having been current or post grads from the UWEC x-country team.

After 2 miles I had sweated out my shirt and was running in the 10th spot. The jack rabbits cruised along while I worked on picking off the over zealous starters. With a mile to go 4th place was 30 seconds in front. Crossing the finish I cut the margin to 20 seconds. My 28:34 was nearly a two minute PR on this course from two years ago. Finishing 5th I was the final runner to win a frozen turkey. All finishers received a 5" personal pumpkin pie. It was nearly 60 degrees. Thanksgiving was off to an incredible start.


Here's to a happy and healthy start to your Holiday season.

04 November 2012

Heart Center Half Marathon

On Halloween a friend asked me if I wanted to run one of the Heart Center of the Rockies races. The treats to choose from were a 5K, 10K, or half marathon. Originally I planned to do the 10K as a prep for the highly anticipated Eau Claire, WI Turkey Trot 5 miler that has become a Burch Family Classic. During registration a black cat crossed my path and meowed, "Half and Half." It was a sign...

I think it's been over three years since I've done a road race longer than 5K...not counting AR50 in that category. It was a random scratch to itch and I looked forward to pushing the pace for 13.1 It would be another great gauge on fitness and a chance to wear a roadie costume for the day.

My goal was to go sub 1:20. Lately I've done some highly specific training for this race; running really mellow up and down Horsetooth with friends and one speed workout on the track. I knew I had it in me! I figured I could also set a PR. The existing benchmark was a 1:20 split at the 2009 CO Marathon.

Race day came and I felt good. I wore compression socks to fit in with the crowd but knew my inner trail runner was sticking out like a sore thumb when I donned a hat, gloves, and a longsleeve. Compared to the rest of the front row I looked like an overdressed newbie as they stripped down to shorty shorts and singlets. I seemed to have forgotten how much heat I can produce when I run fast. I was out of my element.

The race started and I found myself in the 6 spot chitchatting on a beautiful morn with the guys next to me. It was fun to run hard for over 3.1 miles. I began thinking how good the half-marathon distance could be for ultra training. It doesn't beat you up like a road marathon. It is a great sustained high intensity cardio workout. And on the simple side you don't have to worry about eating or drinking during the race.

Through 6 miles I was at 37:xx. Through 10 I was at 1:01:xx. With 5K to go I could tell I was beginning to close the gap on a few of the runners in front of me. Shortly after mile 11 I found myself in the 5th spot looking ahead at Heather Utrata who was about 30 seconds up in 4th with 3rd place 10-15 seconds up on her. I put the remaining pedal down but knew I would run out of real estate for the two in front of me. I crossed the line in 1:19:19 achieving my goals for the day.

I had a ton of fun out there on Saturday! Running hard and throwing down some hotcakes postrace. Seven weeks removed from Basic and the exuberance for running continues to spill out my cup. An unnamed friend (living on Overhill Dr) enjoyed pointing out the fact that I got "chicked." I thoroughly did as only a true man can admit with pride and a smile. Running is fun.