Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Nothing like a headwind.

I got out today and had a decent run. A local trail of mine is not to far from my front door. It is a nice fire road that leads to a tall waterfall and on the way back you get some awesome singletrack.
The real problem with the run today was mountain lion sightings on the trail. I am sure it isn't the first time they (it) has been there but after seeing the picture of him on my favorite trail it made me question the run. Basically, the entire run I was jumpy. I am not sure how the run really went since I wasn't focused on it at all. I will tell you one thing though, squirrels can be scary muthas! Every time one popped out mt body would go numb thinking it was the end.
Once I hit the waterfall turnaround I noticed the rest of the run would be into the wind. Funny, I couldn't tell there was a wind when I was running with it, go figure.
Overall, I felt pretty good. I wanted to go 12 but ended with 10 miles. The legs felt a little weary and my nerves were shot. I will get out today, even though it is snowing, and do at least 10 more.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Buffalo Run 25k

Run like an animal.
Well, 3 years ago I ran this as my first trail race. The night before I nearly decided I wasn't ready. I ran anyway, thankfully. Not a great performance but everyone needs to start somewhere. I finished with a 3:37 which was 47th out of 64. That's where it all began.
Last year I was back, again for the 25k. I ran a 2:56 which was 36th of 72. I felt better as my goal was a sub 3-hour.
That brings us to this year. I had a goal of a sub 2:40. Going in I obviously didn't feel ready and was a little disappointed in my training. I realize I will always be a middle of the packer but you still need discipline. I figured I would go out faster than normal, push the hills early and hope to have enough in the tank to finish. I knew in the back of mind that there was the reality of bonking hard.
I started running an 8 minute mile until I hit 3.5 miles. This is where the first little grind hits. It's not a large climb but climbing for me is my Achilles. I did pretty well and reached the aide station with heavier legs than I wanted. You then hit a pretty sweet downhill and I let it all out. I figured if gravity would slow me going up, it better help me going down. Once you hit the bottom you go over some rollers before you hit the biggest climb of the run. I knew for me that this was where the race was going to be decided for me. I have run this 3 other times and I knew the result if I walked it., I have never truly tried to run it so I never knew how it would pan out. I decided to go for it. I ran a good 90+% and did it ever hurt. I got to the top and gladly started running some level single track. From there, you go on some amazing rolling single track. The views are breath-taking and lets face it- that's what I am here for. I hit the aide station and my time wasn't too bad but I knew I spent lots of juice on the climbs so keeping up my pace was in question.
It's funny, breaking down this running thing is so very basic if you break in down from the start.
Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Seriously-that's it. At one point I thought about walking for a minute to get my second wind ready but my legs wouldn't let me. It was almost as if they knew it would hurt if I stopped and tried to start again. I hit the last downhill and could see the finish line in the far distance. I still wasn't sure if I could hit my goal but I wasn't sure if I couldn't either. I ran knowing no matter how bad it hurt, it would eventually be over anyway so suck it up and deal with it.
There was the finish line- as I crossed the time read 2:32. I DID IT! I hit my goal and finished 1 hour and 5 minutes faster than 06 and 24 minutes faster than 07'. Hell, I'll take it. I finished 21st out of 93 and 7th in my age group. I was pumped. Progress and results. Evolution faster than the ape.
I have had a pretty good start for 08. My next scheduled race in Squaw Peak 50 which is a monster. I have a goal of finishing under 12 hours which will require better discipline than I have showed but I am ready for the challenge. Could use a pacer or 2 though.
Run like a animal! Or at least run with them...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Long week!?*#$@

Well, I missed a post on Tuesday and the week got out of control. I have been a little to busy with side projects and need to refocus a bit. The first 2 years I have run Buffalo, I have been congested and sick well year 3 may not be much different. I am not sure what to think about this. I am loading up on Vitamin B, Emergen-C, vitamins, you name it. Maybe I stress my body out too much and it reacts this way. Maybe its mental.
Anyway, Tuesday I did my last run for the week and is was okay at best. 6 miles and really struggled to get there.
With tomorrows race looming, mentally I feel tired and confused. Lets put it in perspective, its only 17 miles. I need to quit reading blogs and following other runners. I am not mentally prepared to step back and analyze it correctly.
When I first started the gig 3 years ago, the challenge was not let finishing near the very back get to me. That was tough. I have been competitive all my life and now iIwas competing more against the unknown then a true opponent. I think I dialed that in and moved on a bit.
So now, I come to a race in which I think I am not prepared to do what I was hoping to do (I know, I know, you almost never think you prepared enough). I also know there is nothing I can do about it now but its frustrating. So I guess from here until Saturday afternoon I need to not dwell on it and just go put one foot in front of the other........

Monday, March 17, 2008

Keep on keepin on....

Got another great run in today. I am feeling pretty good and the lungs are even coming around. I did a solid 8 today and I will run again tomorrow before taking a few days off for Buffalo. After Buffalo, the training shifts a lot. I am so looking forward to being out running in the sun, that better happen soon. I am still a little confused with training. I know I need to mix it up so I am not sure if I should increase my speed over an 8 miles distance or start hammering out big miles or even start more work with vertical or just say "BANZAI" and do them all together.
Any thoughts? Just trying to get better. Ah, the life of a middle of the packer!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A first for me.

A first for me today. I am trying very hard to keep things in perspective. I am who I am and I am not an elite runner. I did 8 miles at an 8 minute pace. Ok, so not headlines but for me, more confidence. Take it there was little to no elevation. After my race next Saturday, I hope to start to focus a day or two a week on elevation and the other days on distance. I need to improve both but with my season early, I feel pretty good. no injuries, no nagging issues and a pretty solid base under me. The diet is going well and I think after Buffalo next week, I will see more results.
I love springtime. I ran in my new Pearl Izumi Seek shoes yesterday and they worked well. I have always wore Salomons and they have been great. I want to get a few more runs in my PI's before I bring out an official review. Stay tuned and thanks for following, or leading depending who you are.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hey I ran

So after Buffalo, I let life take control of me. I have been a slacker about training but stayed true to my diet. After Aspen's b-day on Sunday I got caught up in life. NO EXCUSE.
I had a pretty solid 8 tonight that cranked out pretty well. I will take tomorrow off and go long on Saturday and Sunday.
I have been working on a rather large project lately and the last few day sit has consumed me. My mind has been in the clouds and I have neglected things I shouldn't have. Hopefully I will have an annoucement sometime next week if all goes well. ITS GROUNDBREAKING!
I am back on the horse after 4 days off. I felt guilty every day.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Buffalo Training Run 25K (17 miles)

The weather outside was perfect. A slight drizzle at 6 am, not bad. Today was the last training run before the Buffalo Run. I went out looking to run the course. It is a 25k for me. I ran it in 2006 and did 3:24. In 2007 I ran it in 2:56. What would 2008 bring?
As i left the parking lot I felt pretty good however, the first 4 miles were basically into a head wind. The pace was were I needed it but the effort to sustain it was a little rough. There is a pretty decent grind to the first aid station, only at mile 3.8. I hit it at 41 minutes and was pretty bummed. I decided that race day I would skip this aid station and just run right through. After the aide station you get a pretty lengthy downhill. I definitely make up time here. After that you hit the main part of the elevation. Its a switchback to the top of the mountain. After you hit the top you run on single track until you hit the next aid station. I hit it at 1:46 and that is mile 9.6. Then you basically RUN the rest.
During the training run, I had to stop for about 20-30 minutes due to the fact there were at least 40 head of Buffalo on the trail. Gotta love the Tatanka! The last few miles are brutal. Ankle busters all the way down. I finished the run in 2:48. I felt pretty good as much as I ran but man was I disappointed in the time.
For the next week, I want to focus on running on grinds, nice casual slopes. I lose so much time here in all my races and runs. I feel so much better over all but those damn grinds kill me.
On a separate note, the diet is going okay. I feel good and I seem to notice a change but the actual number of pounds isn't falling like I thought.
Well, lets keep our fingers crossed for Buffalo. I would take a 2:40.
Hey, guess what? Aspen turns 3 tomorrow. What a joy!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

8 more miles and reflection

Got a decent back to back in today. Did a solid 8 miles and felt great. It actually went by pretty fast. Running is so amazing for clearing your mind or for going through thoughts. I just cant wait to get in the mountains. I imagine my first few runs will be too fast or too aggressive but who cares. I am just looking forward to a exciting year. It seemed like every year I have tweaked things or figured a few things out.
I remember my first real trail race. It was 3 years ago during the Inaugural Buffalo Run. It was a 25k and I was terrified. The race went very poor compared to what I have done since. Everything seem to go wrong. I remember I had a baggie of Heed in my back pocket and before I got to use it, it opened up and went down my leg. Take in mind, it was a powder but combined with sweat and a little water- it makes an awesome paste and it so happens the back of my legs are hairy. (those of you that know me probably know that being sticky is a huge pet peeve of mind) Fun times. I didn't use supplements basically so I cramped a lot after about 10 miles. It was essentially miserable but I remember thinking..."Better to be miserable out here than miserable anywhere else."
So long story short, I have lived and learned and cant think of many things you can do alone that is funner....okay and lasts as long.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Pigeon or the Statue?

Well the last few days I have felt like the statue. I have been down with some major head and chest congestion. My wife and 11 year old had the stomach flu, so basically my house was a big cess pool of germs. Ironically enough, the soon to be 3 year old (March 9th), was healthy.
After missing some keys days running I got back and ran my regular 6 miles for a Tuesday. I felt pretty good and paced about an 8:40 mile. I hated taking 3 days off especially considering the weekend is reserved for my longer runs. I will keep up a good schedule this week with a Saturday morning run out on Antelope Island for about 23 miles. I am really looking forward to getting out on the trails.
I had some amazing news today so I am now the Pigeon. Stayed tuned for more details but hopefully it will rock the Ultra running community......