Wednesday, December 30, 2009

No such thing as bad weather

Gotta love that quote from Bill Bowerman. Got out today before work and hit the BST with Jim Skaggs. The original plan was to run on the island but we thought with the weather we should hit the mountain. Not only did we hit the mountain but some gnarly snowstorm stopped by to join us. We headed north from Rainbow Gardens and trudged up to the service road. The snow was deep. Mainly always above the ankle but some spots were easy mid shin. The fresh powder was light and beatiful but what laid beneath that was bumpy and crunchy. We looked like a couple drunk runners for most of the time. We got a great quad workout and a solid memory to boot.
Guess it's time to get some fast runs in on the dreadmill or road.
So my goal is to do the same thing I have done the last 2 years (haven't run long enough to make a long tradition)- run on the last day and first day of the year. Last year I was in Texas- 70 degrees and in shorts hitting some nice trails in Farmersville. This year will likely bring road and dreadmill. Either way, I am running and running pain free. Yep....pain free.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

'Sounds like you're serious"

I heard this the other day at work and haven't wrapped my brain around it yet.
The last few years I have been trying to break into running. I always disliked running. I played soccer my entire life at all levels and with that came A LOT of running. I just never liked running just to run. I tried a couple times but there was no appeal, no lure, no enjoyment. That changed at the Wasatch 100 in 2005. My first real exposure to trail/ultra running. I was there to see a good friend who was running. I remember pulling into the aide station and looking around thinking- "what the hell?" Who were these people. Many had on Hawaiian flowered button up shirts, ringing cowbells and sitting around talking and cutting up small pieces of fruit and PB & J's. To know me is to understand I do not do well in crowds. I dislike crowds. I will not go to a movie unless I know it will not be crowded. Opening nights....forget about it. I enjoy people but I struggle to communicate at times. If I know you well that's another story.
So there I was waiting for a runner to come down from the mountain. Sitting, waiting and of course people watching (a new found hobby). Next thing I hear is cowbells and yelling- "RUNNER!". I turn and sure enough it's "my guy". I got goosebumps. This was cooool! Well, the next few years I tried and tried but nothing really seemed to work. I picked brains, read books, read magazines, surfed blogs (a new found hobby...might seek help for this addiction) and bugged the crap out of friends, co-workers and family. I started to enjoy the trails, my new friends, races and RUNNING????Yep running. I even went back to run the Wasatch 100 as my first 100 miler (finished but struggled mightily). Last year I suffered and Achilles injury and things just never panned out. I was lucky to finally get the help I needed and feel good now but there was still something missing. So I sat down and brainstormed. What was it?
The first answer was easy, the second not so much. I enjoyed the trails. I wanted to run. I started to feel a yearning to be on the trails but just never made it over the hump. Don't get me wrong, I have never had visions of winning or running a 6 minute or 7 minute pace but I wanted to see what I could do. I never left a race thinking- "that was the best I can do." So here are the 2 answers I came up with:
1- Lose some damn weight. I am not obese by any means but overweight-YES. Hard to swallow a bit of that though and had too many excuses.
2- Train proper- get a coach.

Well, I am bound and determined to lose some weight, maybe even obsessed with it. It plays a role in more than just running. I was fit and lean most of my life and this is kinda new for me so it has even been hard to talk about. And proper training. I know I probably do too many junk miles. So now I have Lisa Smith-Batchen kicking my butt daily! I have been on a training schedule for 4 weeks and LOVE IT! It is hard as hell for me but I enjoy the mix and times and goals. All that is left is me. I need to step up and take more accountability. So throwing this out on my blog is another way to be accountable. Put up or shut up!
So after all this rambling- it's up to me....bottom line.
I am really excited and look forward to see what I really am capable of if I give it a fair shot.
Hiring a coach, passing up the donut tray.....So am I serious?
Damn right!


Today was a tough day of training. I had to go 20 minutes as a warm up then 2 minutes at a 5k pace then 3 easy minutes and repeat for 1 hour then the last 10 minutes I did 1 minute 5k pace and 1 minute easy. I have NEVER done this one before and I was gassed! I did this on the dreadmill and was pretty intimidated before I started. My easy pace was level 6 (10 minute pace) and my 5k pace was level 9. To my surprised I really enjoyed the workout. It was hard but different. I felt as if I had a reason for the madness. I completed my workout and felt fantastic. Hard to believe but I love my training program. I gets me excited knowing what I need to do and when. I am looking forward to see what I can do and maybe even surprise myself a bit.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

On the road again

Today was a rare occasion. We got hit a huge snowstorm so the trails were tough to handle so I ventured off on a ROAD RUN. YIKES! I really hate running on the roads...bad. It was snowing pretty hard and and the fresh snow was really soft. I found that with the conditions the way they was an amazing run. I was scheduled to go out for 1- 1.5 hours and I hit 1 hour 20 minutes pretty easy. Some spots were tough trying to navigate cars and snow to my mid-shin but when I got back home I felt great! I am hoping to get on the road more in order to get the running in I need. The trails should be pretty deep and I am sure I will still get out but the road today was very convenient and I got in a solid run.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Frosty or Cold? Damn cold

Today was a tad bit chilly. I am in Colorado and ran the Coyote Ridge trail with Scott Jaime. This is his home course and its a great one. We bundled up, left the house and the -5 degree temps were chilling to the bone. The loop we did was about 11 miles. I mixed in some 4/1 running meaning 4 easy minutes and pushed for 1. I did this for about 50 minutes. Combined with the cold- the 4+ inches of snow on the trail made it slow and go for me. I think Scott went as slow as he could without walking in order for me to keep up. I got a very solid workout in and now look forward to running the loop when it is warm and dry.

Did close to 11 miles- well maybe 10.5 in about 1:55.

Great run with a great friend.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

More Snow on the Island and no WS100 for me.

Had a great run on the Island today. Went out to the island at 8 am to meet. About 10 people showed. The weather was cold and windy to start and before we knew it..snow and quite a bit of it. We ended up with about 8 miles which is right according to my schedule. Got some good grinding uphill and rolling trail. Lots of buffalo out today. I really am enjoying time on the island. Different terrain and scenery. Tomorrow will be yoga followed by more running.
Looking forward to getting my next 2 weeks of training though.
Side note- as expected I didn't get into Western States. It appears only 3 people from Utah got in.
What's with that? Loads of people fro Cali are coming to Utah and they only let us have 3?
Come on!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Circuit, Reps and Sets

Well, hit the gym for more weights. Still a little sore but in a good way. Started with the elliptical then hit the circuit. Training is going solid and I really feel like I am settling into a routine. Tomorrow is a run on Antelope Island so I am hoping for some good weather.
Update: Achilles is good! Still some swelling but little to no pain.
Tomorrow is the Western States 100 lottery. I put in for it. I am sure I won't get in but hey...I am trying.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ouch and Easy...

Wow, I was a sore SOB today. My shoulders and chest didn't function so well. Trying to wash my hair this morning was a chore. I took it fairly easy with the weights knowing I was just getting into it but still........
Today was an easy run at 1 hour and 20 minutes followed by sit-ups, push-ups, jump rope and wall sits. I felt fairly good but could tell I was still sore. Even after Ultragen I was sore and tight. Even though I did lift with my legs, they didn't feel too bad today.
Tomorrow- elliptical and more weights. Man am I looking forward to running Saturday and Sunday!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hittin the weights

Well, today was a first. My training program called for some time on the stair master followed by a serious training circuit with weights. I haven't touched weights in years- now I know why. After my circuit training I felt weak. My body was tired and felt like jello. My new training schedule is really focused and I am trying to get there. Just having that accountability is huge.
So Thursday is a easy 1:20 run with a few exercises at home followed by more weights on Friday....yippee! I just hope by Friday I can lift my arms!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Moon light run

Got a text about 5 pm from Jim letting me know he was running at 6 pm. I was supposed to get an hour easy run in tonight and dreading a treadmill run. Looking up on my way home I noticed a full moon. Oh ya! I busted home got my gear and took off to meet him.
Tonight was a pretty cool run. I used my new Pearl Izumi Fuel XC trail shoes- all I can say is HELL YA! Those babies are for real. Right out of the box. Jim, myself and Tom (from Mississippi) took the BST north. On the way out we had headlamps glowing and held a nice sturdy pace. On the way back- no headlamps- the moon lit our way. This may have been the best I felt in over 3 months. Went about 6.5 miles is all but a combination on my new favorite shoe, great people to share the trail with, the weather (clear and fairly warm) and running at night by moon light in the mountains was unmatched.
I am staying good to form on my training program and feeling great!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

On the Shoreline

Met Joel and Jim at 6 am for a nice 10 miler on the Bonneville Shoreline. Great morning- brisk but not windy. Hit a few ice patches on the trail that definitely slowed us but all in all it was a great morning. We discussed our plans for a Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim assault in April which really gets me excited. We talked about home brews- Jim is a current home brew master- which helped me make my new Christmas wish list.
The Achilles feels good and being on the trails is therapeutic. Got to kick it up a notch for 2010.
December is right around the corner so that means cross-training....err skiing. Sweet!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Earned the Bird!

Okay, I am back. Been quite some time. I have been running though. I finally graduated from PT with the Achilles and it seems like it is holding up. Got a real structured training plan (accountability). Just got over a nasty cold so now its time to get moving.

Big plans for 2010 and that is just around the corner. BUT first let's start with a Turkey Day run.
Met my good training buddy Joel this morning at 5 am. Our plans were to hit Ben Lomond Peak one more time for 2009. It was about 20 degrees but windy. BRRRRRRR..... cold. We turned on the headlamps and took off. Right before sunrise I looked over for a brief second and saw a couple silhouettes....MOOSE- there were 3 (2 bulls and a cow)...SWEET! We left Bullwinkle and preceded to the Peak. It was a pretty tough jaunt with slow on the trail- not just any snow but super fine powdery stuff that you just couldn't get a feel for. We hit the base of the peak and it got nasty. We trudged up the snow face and b-lined for the ridge in order to get some solid traction. Then is was rock hopping to the top. We signed the book and headed back down.
We couldn't have asked for a better day. 16 miles and 4000'. Said good bye to the Peak for now.
Went back home and prepared a fine feast for the family.

So- what am I thankful for? Where to begin. FAMILY- without my family NOTHING is possible. I love you all so very much- you 3 girls make me very proud! Thanks for all your patience with me, I am trying.....
Friends- all of you. My life long ones to my new ones. My running buddies- without you I would be even heavier than I am now.
All in all, I have much to be thankful for. I really hope I keep these thoughts with me always.
Friday will be a day of rest then out for a Saturday and Sunday jaunt.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

I'm back and look forward to you online friendships.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Volunteering at Mtn View Trail Half Marathon

This past weekend I was able to help out at the 1st annual Mountain View Trail Half Marathon on Antelope Island. Jim Skaggs is the RD and if you have ever run the Buffalo Run (50m,50k,25k) then you know it will be a good one. 120 runners showed for the first ever race and the weather was perfect. I need to admit I was real jealous I was not able to run but it was the right decision. Training has been good lately and just trying to build a base before December hits and I ramp it up. Just being at the race really got my juices flowing and it was needed. 2009 has been a long long year and I am ready to put it behind me and gear up for 2010.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Finally- Hope has a name....

ASTYM- That's it!
So after I traveled to Colorado to see my good friend Scott and attempt to help him on the trail and one week later I paced Christian from Upper Big Water to Brighton during the Wasatch 100- I needed to get some answers. It has been over 1 year of total frustration. I have tried different Dr.'s, PT's and podiatrists..hell I even tried Acupuncture and I am terrified of needles. Nothing. Some days I felt good others felt horrible. I went to a new Dr after pacing at Wasatch. I went in, got an ultrasound and x-rays and Dr Blackham said. "I can get you back in 3-6 months". Sounds like a long time unless you have already wasted a full year. I said I will do whatever you want. He prescribed to wear Nitro glycerin patches on my injured Achilles and sent me to do ASTYM twice a week for 6-12 weeks along with stretches and I had to sleep with a crazy looking boot on. After the first treatment of ASTYM I was already feeling better and the swelling was going down. It has been 4 weeks and I ran on the trails Saturday for the first time....PAIN FREE!
Anyone out there with lingering injuries, especially the Achilles. I recommend ASTYM. I feel like I am on my way back and have a solid game plan. Time to build a base and look forward to running as opposed to look forward to icing.....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A new plan and a little hope.

Today marks a new day. After ONE YEAR of suffering from my Achilles injury- seeing 4 doctors, 1 physical therapist, 1 acupuncturist, 1 podiatrist and countless recommendations- I think I have found my guy.....Dr Jason Blackham! I was referred to him by a couple great local running girls. I went to see him this morning and when I finally got in, he sent me for some x-rays. When I got back he came in to show me the results (my heart was pounding a bit I must admit). As we reviewed the x-rays he showed me 2 bone spurs - one on my heal and one on the front. Now, the only time I hear bone spur it is usually followed by surgery, shaving, break, etc. I asked him if I needed any surgery to which he replied "nah, I don't think so- they are in good spots as long as they don't cause any pain." SWEET! I felt a bit relieved. The x-ray itself showed other problems too but thankfully they happened years ago in my soccer days. It appears I may have had a few fractures and of course many ankle sprains. We then proceeded for the ultra sound. This was my first ultra sound in which I wasn't looking for a heart beat or a gender. He showed me my "good" Achilles first and then the bad one. I am happy to report- no tears, just lots of inflammation. He graded it as mild- more great news. Dr. Blackham said he could most likely get me better within 3-6 months. Whew! It has been a year since this has hanging on so what's another 6 months?
So, how will it get better? Well, I go to pick up some Nitro patches, do some eccentric exercises, stretching, I get to wear a ski boot replica to bed and last but not least ASTYM. He did inform me that ASTYM will hurt like hell and my leg will look like hell, it will feel worse before it gets better. Not sure I like that. While I do ASTYM, no NSAIDS either. So I called and got my first appointment for Monday- twice a week for 3 weeks then once a week for a few more. The doc said I can do some light running and just keep an eye on the pain. Is this all good news. ABSOLUTELY! I now feel like there is a plan in place and my doc said he had a similar injury- did I mention he was a college runner who still runs a 2:50 marathon?
So long, long, long story steps but no reason to think I will not be ready for Moab Red Hot 50k. It's on the books as well as a few other surprises.....

Side note- congrats go out to Scott Jaime for finishing the Colorado Trail in fine fashion. Way to go Fast One, damn proud of ya! Next congrats to all the Wasatch 100 participants that "toed the line" last weekend. You all should be proud to get to the start. A special congrats to Christian Johnson. I had the pleasure of pacing Christian from Upper Big Water to Brighton and he was smokin'! It was great to share the trail with yet another great person and athlete. Thanks Christian for letting me tag along.
Good Luck to those that will run the Bear 100 next week. I really wish I could be there but maybe next year.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Acupuncture and more schtuff

Alright- I am desperate now. I am absolutely terrified of needles yet tomorrow I will head over to an Acupuncturist for a exam. It has been an extremely disappointing year and it isn't looking up. I had some goals and races I really wanted to do but I knew I wouldn't be able to do them without really walking a thin line towards a major injury. It is hard to be competitive and running with an injury like this. In my early years playing soccer I would have taken some NSAIDS with Dr. Pepper and just plodded along. Now- not so much. It is only September and I haven't raced since June. I have run some pretty great training runs but always to limp back home. So 2010? Man, I sure hope so.
Last weekend I was able to get over to Leadville, Colorado and help a good friend with his assault on the Colorado Trail and this weekend I get to share the trail with another very talented runner- Christian Johnson- as he takes on the Wasatch 100 (I just hope I can keep up). It is bitter sweet, last year Wasatch was my first 100 miler and the section I am pacing- Big Water to Brighton- was my "beast". Go get em Christian!!!! And a big ggod Luck to Tom, Kacey, Josh and Corky! Bring it home and enjoy the adventure.
Last night was a very big night for me. I took my 4 year old daughter to get her 1st pair of soccer shin guards and cleats. WOW! Those of you that know me well know that soccer wasn't just a part of my life but actually was my life for along time. Pure passion and my first love. Seeing my 4 year old get all excited just made me so happy. Tonight is her first practice and Saturday her first game. Go get em Aspen- daddy is right here!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

An Epic adventure is underway!!!

As I type this, I am very excited to be getting ready to go to Leadville on Friday to help a friend. Scott Jaime has started his Colorado Trail adventure. Bright and early this morning he hit the trail and in 11 days he will reach Durango. I will arrive in Leadville at May Queen on Friday night to welcome Scott. We then leave at 6 am to cover 34.5 miles. Sunday we wake and head out for a 41.3 mile day. From here I will play it by ear (or legs). I would love to hit the trail Sunday with him for another 35.1 miles but not sure these legs can go. At any rate, Scott will finish this on his 40th birthday. I am just excited to be apart of something this big.
Good Luck Fast Eddy!!! You can follow him HERE via his blog and SPOT.
As for me- the summer has proved to be a tough one. After Squaw I was pretty broken down and discouraged. Dealt with injury but have hopefully regained a little momentum to end the year strong. I have bigger plans for 2010 and hopefully can achieve some goals.
What's next for me? Well, I am fortunate enough to get to share the trail with Christian Johnson at Wasatch. I will be pacing him from Upper Big Water to Brighton. It will be nice to see this course in a new light. When I ran it last year it was my low point of the race.
I was really hoping to do the Bear this year but may have to wait until 2010.

Friday, July 31, 2009

It's been awhile now...

Just catching up. Been off for quite some time to deal with injuries and life. Back in the swing with a different mind set. Really missed running and missed training partners more. I am hoping to be ready to go for the Grand Teton Races in September. I should at least be able to do the Trail Marathon but would really like to tackle the 50. I had hopes of doing El Vaquero Loco in mid August but it doesn't seem realistic but they do have a 25k.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Squaw Peak 50- 2009 report

Well, it just wasn't my day. I know anything can happen in a race but I was sure hoping for more. I got to the start in time this year which was a plus. I dropped off my drop bags and began to focus on my 3rd running of the race. Once again my goal was 11:30 and I really thought I could do this. To put it in perspective, the winner finished in 8:05.

I lined up next to my buddy Phil and the race began. I wanted to get off the bike path ahead of a lot of runners in order to be in good shape at the beginning on the dirt trail and climb. I settled in behind Tom and Kacey. As we hit the dirt I felt like I put myself in a good spot not to get stuck behind too many people on the first climb. After a stop to take care of a wardrobe malfunction I was off again. I decided not to look at my split card until AS #6. I didn't want to put any added pressure on myself and just wanted to run according to how comfortable I felt. I felt strong early on and just tried to keep on top of my nutrition. I was hoping for a little cooler temps and even a little sprinkle during the day but no luck. I came into AS #5 and knew I needed to run Hobble Creek road in order to have a realistic shot at my goal. In the two prior years I walked almost if not all of the road. I HATE running on roads! I ran about 90% of it this year and was pleased with the effort. I got to AS#6 and checked my split card for the first time. I was 2 minutes off my projected pace. At that point I was psyched. Last year I felt I had a great second half of the course and looked forward to getting it on again. I left 6 and about 15-20 minutes later, all hell broke loose. It started with my Achilles. It felt great all day and I hadn't even thought about it but I got some good pain and then what I would describe as "spasms". I sat on a rock to assess what was going on. I rubbed my Achilles for about 5 minutes and began to push up the dirt road. Out of nowhere my stomach turned south. I decided to walk ab it to see if I could gather myself. I knew by going this slow I would need to push somewhere else along the way. I hit AS#7 and still wasn't feeling that great. I looked forward to leaving 7 because I love this section of the course. Fortunately/unfortunately it lasted long enough this year to enjoy it. I came into 8 and knew I couldn't stay long. I grabbed my drop bag, reloaded and off I went. After the endless climb I got into a little groove and ran the single track do the bottom of Windy Pass. It looked like a death march up the mountain and I was next. Half way up I came across a guy who decided 2- 10 ounce water bottles were going to be enough for him. SURPRISE- it wasn't. He was in pretty bad shape so I gave him some of mine and kept on going. As I was going through the bowl on Windy there was another guy just shivering on the side of the trail. I gave him my gloves and arm warmers in hopes that would help. As I got into AS #9 a few other runners already notified the volunteers about the dude shivering on the mountain so they grabbed a blanket and went after him (I hope he was okay, I never heard anymore about him- you can keep the clothes though). I left 9 knowing my goal was out of reach and could only think about my wife and kids waiting for me to show up at 10. Poor family waited along time. I bombed down the mountain and before I got to 10 I saw my 2 kids and my sister. What a rush! I then saw my wife who took pictures of her ego broken husband. I limped into 10 and spent a few minutes with the family before heading down the final 3+ miles of road. I HATE road! With about a mile and a half to go, my wife jumped out of the car and paced me the rest of the way. Boy did that ever help. Without her I wouldn't have gotten my PR. I would have probably walked it in-Thanks honey! As like the 2 years past, I met my 2 beautiful girls and we crossed the line together. 12:26:44. YIKES! Not real happy about it but hey- what can I do about it now. Overall I am disappointed in the result. Yes I got a PR but my time was less than stellar. No excuses- I just didn't have it on this day. My littlest one said' "what took you so long", my response- "it just wasn't daddy's day". No excuses, the mountain beat me down.

It was great to see so many friends and family at the finish. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by so many great people. Thank you all for your support and friendship. Congrats to all those who ran- too many people to mention. Congrats to Corky Esquivel for a PR of 13 hours- good luck at Wasatch this September. A huge congrats to Scott Jaime- 1st place in 8:05 and 8th fastest time ever. Way to go Fast Eddy! You deserve it!

It's too early to break down what went wrong/right but I am sure I will figure some things out. Prediction for 2010- under 11 hours! No question. Squaw Peak is already my focus race for next year. Race results are not up yet but I will post the link soon.

Hey- did anyone else get cut to hell on all the over growth?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Squaw Peak 50 Preview

Well the time is here- Squaw Peak 2009- my first focus race. I think of it as my favorite because this is where I was able to cross the finish line in 2007 holding one daughter and running holding hands with the other (photo). My wife was at the finish with a huge smile and a much needed hug. We did it! From there a tradition was born. Seeing my 3 girls at the finish with huge smiles more than made it all worth it. To have them tell you they are proud of you will always bring a tear to my eye and make the pounding in my legs go away- only if for a moment.

This will be my 3rd running and takes me back to my 1st 50 miler. My first year 2007, it was hot and I don't like heat. Last year 2008, it snowed and rained half the day which was welcomed. This year, it looks like scattered thunderstorms and a high around 70....PERFECT! My training leading up to the race has been better than years past. I got a late start on training due to my Achilles but it seems to be accepting of my running. I have gotten some great longs runs and more vertical than the past as well. I was on a run yesterday with Joel and Cory to give the legs a spin and it was funny thinking how much I enjoy trail running but sure can tell when the races are close. In 2007 I just wanted to finish, that's it. I remember the joy of crossing the finish line in a whopping 14:27. Time didn't matter. 2008 I wanted a 12 hour finish (time mattered) crossed the line in 12:44. Rumor was the times were almost 1 hour slower due to the weather but in my book it was 12:44. I missed my goal but was still pretty pleased with how I felt. It was a truly EPIC race. This year I have a goal. Attainable- sure. Putting a time on my race really makes me nervous. Running to finish makes me feel a little better. My goal for 2009......(drumroll).......11:30. Now lets put that in perspective. I believe the winner will go sub 9. That makes me at least 2.5 hours off the leader. Crazy to think how amazing these athletes are. In my mind I know where I need to make up some time from last year but doing it is another thing. I need to "take chances" (thanks Fish). As many know, anything can happen no the course. 50 miles is 50 miles for everyone. Nutrition, hydration, weather, pace, injury and attitude all play factors in the run. I hope most of those come together for me.

The race is sure to be competitive. There are some great athletes toeing the line: Christian Johnson, Erik Storheim, Brian Beckstead, Kevin Shilling, Leland Barker and Scott Jaime to name a few (sorry I know I left out many others). It will be great standing at the start with some great people but I am looking forward to being there next to Fast Eddy. He paced me back in 2007 and was vital to me finishing. There will be a lot of my training friends there as well: Joel, Cory, Phil, Matt, Kacey, Shane, Tom, Jaime and Ron. Good Luck to all of you and thanks for letting me share those training runs with you! Should be a great day in the mountains and sure beats yard work.

Again-GOOD LUCK to everyone and see you all at the finish line!

Friday, May 29, 2009

How sweet it is.

This post has more to do with my daughter Sami than anything else. I am so proud of her! She sometimes is reluctant to try new things are is very timid. She decided last week to try out for soccer all-stars. She gets nervous with soccer because she thinks its "my thing" and says she doesn't want to "embarrass" me. I let her make her own choices on soccer and try to encourage her to do what she wants to do instead of push her along the way. After try-outs she felt she didn't make it. Well- I got a call from the coach and said Sami had indeed made the all-star team! YES! I was so excited to tell her. When I finally let her know, she shrieked and jumped around like a little girl (wait, she is a little girl) I was pretty emotional too. Watching my kids succeed is the ultimate feeling. Congratulations Sami, I am so very proud of you. Looks like there will be a couple races I may miss due to some tournaments but hey- its worth it!

On a side note, I ran with a group and we went up to Ben Lomond Peak. LOTS of snow and lots of throbbing legs. Got up to 9700' and 16 miles. Probably my last climb until Squaw. Epic run being in the clouds and glissading one last time this year.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pocatello 50

Finally, a race report and back on my blog. First- this is a must do race for everyone! Whether you do the 50 or the 2 or 3 person relay. Put this race on your to do list and you will not be disappointed. Jared Campbell, Ryan McDermott and company put on a first class race with some beautiful trails. To all the Pocatello locals, THANK YOU! You all have a nice backyard.

Now, I did the 3 person relay with Phil (Ogden, UT) and Greg (Dillon, Montana). Phil did the 1st leg (16.9 miles 4500' gain, 5150' loss), Greg the 2nd (15.6 miles 3600' gain 2950' loss) and I was lucky enough to do the 3rd. Getting up at 4 am and not running until 2:30 pm makes for a tough day. I guess it can be like crewing and pacing rolled into one. Phil and Greg both did awesome in some tough terrain and conditions. It was hot and challenging. When Greg came into the end of the 2nd leg, I was less than ready to go. I wasn't sure what the course had in mind for me but I did see the thunder storm roll in. Knowing I was going to be on top of Scout Mtn (elev. 8600+ feet) I wanted to get up and down as quick as possible. My leg was 19.3 miles with 5580' of gain and 5580' of loss. The trail to the top took me awhile. I got the first aid station in 1:10 but after that it was slow and go. Once on top of Scout, it was time for some glissading. My plan was to stay upright on my feet and do the best I could but gravity and poor glissading skills ruined that plan. I slipped and feel on my ass and it was game on. I was cruising down the mountain and giggling like a school girl when over to my left noticed the trail- oops I was going too far down. I dug my feet into to the snow in hopes of stopping and it launched me close to 10 feet in the air down the mountain onto my back and moving again. I finally came to a stop (a little scared but still laughing) picked up my gear (had a small yard sale) and found the trail. From there it is about 4 miles of sweet and quad pounding downhill. As I hit the last aid station I got the pleasure of meeting Greg Norrander who takes amazing race photos. After a small delay there we went down the road for about a mile and then started a climb of 600'. That doesn't sound like much but it felt like pure hell. After the climb it was down again to the finish. I did my leg in 4:47 which wasn't too good but crossing the finish and seeing my relay buddies was pretty cool. Team time 13:24 but more important a great day on the trail with some great people. Thanks to Greg and Phil for letting me run with them and spending the day. I got to hang out with Bryon Powell for a bit and listen to his summer plans. (Bryon-wear those socks with pride, those racing stripes will make you faster...promise)

Again- way to go Pocatello 50 race organizers, volunteers, runners and all. Great race and a priceless time. See full results HERE.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Malan's Run

Left Rainbow at 6 am with Joel, Brian Beckstead and Shane Martin. The plan was to run over to waterfall canyon then come back and go up to Malan's and return to Rainbow. After the weekend I wasn't sure how my legs would feel and seeing Brian and Shane in the parking lot made them buckle. These guys are solid runners and both are great guys too. It was a good pace and the temps were perfect. We hit Malan's and Brian and Shane took off. Joel and I followed and met them at the overlook. From there it was fast (for me anyway). We bombed down Malan's and didn't stop till we hit the car. Another solid 10 miles and some vertical 3000+. It is great to run with these guys and sometimes a little intimidating. Overall, I feel good and after the back to back weekend I was pleasantly surprised how my legs responded. Thursday will be a easier 9 miles and then off to the Pocatello 50 to run the relay with a couple of friends.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Got that outta the way

This weekend was marked on my calendar for a nice back to back. Leading up to Squaw Peak last year I got out for some great training runs during the same time frame and felt it was the most beneficial so I wanted to try and replicate it a bit this year.
Friday night/Saturday morning= I met Cory, Matt, John and Leland at Rainbow Gardens at 11:00 pm for a solid run. The temps were great and once again I was the slowest guy in the group. We ran over the Bues parking lot and on the way back we went up to Malan's. This was the first and possibly last time I was on Malan's (lookout before the basin) at 2:35 am. After we left Malan's we all were pretty beat except for Matt who probably could have gone for another 15+ miles. Total distance was 18 miles and over 4000' of elevation. Total time was 4.5 hours.
Sunday= I met Joel and we drove up to Wheeler Creek for a nice 20 mile run. We headed up Wheelers and it was cold. Just my PI short sleeve shirt and shorts, no glove, no sleeves. We hit Art Nord and headed up to Maples and then to the Ogden Overlook for more vertical. From there we headed over to Snowbasin and it started to really heat up. We hit the lodge for a re-fill then took the upper Green Pond trail and winded down to the road. We crossed over and hit the trail down to icebox. Icebox was fantastic. Such a beautiful section of trail there. The heat really took its toll on me and reminded me I needed some heat training before Squaw or I will be in trouble. We reached the car with 19 miles and 4730' of elevation. Almost 20 but I will take it.
For the weekend= 37 miles 9 hours on my feet, 9000' of elevation, heat and some beat legs. I feel good about this heading into the week. This weeks goal is Tuesday run (maybe Malan's) then easy Thursday with the Pocatello 50 on Saturday (17 mile leg). Squaw is 2 weeks away.....

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nice little spin

Got out this morning at 6am with Cory for a nice little run. I wasn't sure if the weather was going to hold but it did. Cory mentioned he was pretty low on energy so I got lucky that I didn't have to red line all day just to say close. We started at Rainbow and went to the "gate" over by WSU. Not sure the exact distance- maybe around 9?
Solid run before heading out for 2 long back to backs this weekend. I am hoping to get close to 50 miles. We'll see.....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Time for some vertical

Well- I have found a new love- Malan's Basin. What spectacular views! I met Joel at 6 am and we left Rainbow and headed up Malan's. The weather was perfect, the trail were welcoming and the views were inspiring. Did 7.5 mile with 3174 feet of climbing. WOW! This is a better climb than Indian and once on top, the trail are endless. There is still some snow a bit higher up but there are lots of possibilities.
On the way back down, we ran into Brian Beckstead. Brian is a super strong runner and it was great to finally meet him in person. He ran back down with us and we tried to entice him in to some early morning runs with us.
Overall it was a great morning. This is a run I will get in at least once a week for a bit and throw in Indian. The plan is to run solid Thursday and go LONG Saturday and Sunday. The Ogden Marathon in Saturday morning so the trails should be fairly clear for a good 25 miler.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The reason I do this.

Sweeeeeet! Today was it. A great ending to a decent week of training. I met Joel at Rainbow and we drove up to the Wheeler Creek trail head. I have never been up there this early due to snow but we thought we would give it a shot. From the trail head to Art Nord it felt so different. The trees were so bare it seemed really open. We hit Art Nord campground and turned to head up to Maples campground. This part of the trail was tricky. Quite a bit of water and mud and the creeks were raging! The views were incredible up until we almost hit Maples and BAM- Snowbasin was staring at us with the sun hitting the snowy peaks- WOW! Between all the quakies, beaver ponds, snow capped mountains and the smell of the foliage- I couldn't have asked for any more. After Maples we went across to Green Pond via Snowbasin. We ran into a lot of snow at this point. Once across the resort it was a fast pace through Green Pond. The next back to Art Nord was painfully hard. The trail was extremely rutted and difficult to run on. I rolled my ankles at least 5 times and was starting to get a little pissy. Once we hit Art Nord we bombed back down Wheeler to the car. 16 miles but more importantly I cleansed my soul.
For the week I totalled 46 miles. Once again 4 short of my goal but I did get some good running in and over all feel pretty good. The Achilles is still and issue and at times makes me concerned as to what my race season will turn out to be.
On a side note (but more important than my other ramblings) I want to wish my wife and Happy Mothers Day. Without her NONE of this would be possible. I love you!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tough times turn good

Got up early for a 6 am run. Got a text at 5 am that one person wasn't going to be there. I tried to talk myself into going back to bed but it didn't happen. I drove to Rainbow Gardens- once there- I could not believe how cold it was. The wind was howling and the parking lot was empty. I waited for about 15 minutes for someone else to show or really talk myself out of running....well neither of those happened either. I got out of the car and began my climb south. The good part of the cold temps and the wind was it made me keep running, had to stay warm somehow. The run south was pretty uneventful except for the fact my legs didn't want to go. When I finally reach WSU I felt my legs coming around a bit. The way back to the car was a different story. The legs were good and the weather was ideal. Got back to the car with a total of 12 miles. I felt great considering I kept talking myself into running. Ready for a good run Sunday to finish a good week.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Well time to start going up

My alarm went off at 3:45 am and I thought it was a cruel joke. I wasn't going fishing, it wasn't race day- nope just another training run. Met Joel, Cory, John Woj and Matt at the Skyline trail head and we headed out in the dark. My first time running with a headlamp since Wasatch. It brought back some good and bad memories. Temps were perfect and the lungs felt great. After a few miles we hit the Indian Trail. I wasn't sure what to think once we got there. I really need to start doing some serious climbing but I was nervous about the Achilles. I just keep replaying what all the Dr.'s told me- "Avoid doing hills". That was months ago but since the Achilles isn't healed (not heeled) I wasn't too sure about what was going to happen. I trotted up a little ways then backed it back down to a power hike. Legs felt tired and seemed to swell right before my eyes. Achilles stayed in check with minor to no discomfort. Huge mental boost! Went up near the half way point turned back and bombed down the hill. Oh ya- I haven't bombed down a hill for awhile either and my quads were screaming. The rest of the way back to the car felt a little sluggish. My legs were pretty tired. They felt like they were going to pop out of the skin. Note to self: better get up the mountains or Windy Pass will make you cry!
All in all, great early morning run before work. Totalled 9 miles. Ready for Saturday and Sunday.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A true give and take relationship.....

While running, I often times have clear thinking (like most). Today was a perfect example. I started to analyze my lifestyle since taking up trail running. As I processed the last 3 years, I came to the conclusion that it is a true "give and take" relationship. You see, the mountain gives it to me on nearly every training run, I mean really gives it to me. Breaks me down, spits me out and yet I come back for more. Why? Well so I can take it back on race day. The more the mountain give me, the more I can take back on race day. Similar to a pay day. You work for say- 2 weeks and after 2 grueling weeks, you get a pay check= your earnings. Well, trail running for ME is no different. Some days you really don't feel like training but you still drag yourself out the door to get it done. The more times you don't get out the door, you are going to suffer more. The more you get out the door, the better "payday" you will have. I believe at times I think too much. I do it in life and I am sure I do it on the trails. I think to myself- how can I go faster, am I training right, do I need more mileage...... Well, maybe I just need to get out and run. Let the mountain "give" it to me. Absorb and take what it will throw at me and come race day, celebrate it, take it back.

I really do love mornings.

So I got up nice and early to join Joel and Cory for quick run before work. I really think these Tuesday and Thursday morning runs are going to be a big help for the upcoming Squaw Peak race. Joel and Cory will either kill me or make sure I am ready. The weather was great- slight rain, minor to no wind and great temps. Left Rainbow and headed south towards WSU then back to Rainbow- 9 miles total. Felt good and the Achilles let me go at a good little pace.

Monday, May 4, 2009

That peaceful easy feelin'

Yesterday was one of those runs. You've had them. The body and mind feel good (after warming up). The trail seems soft and forgiving. The weather had a mist of rain with NO WIND and the temp are comfortable. You own the trail.
Well yesterday was that day. Did a solid 12 mile effort and finished off with a mile at 7 minute pace and a 1/2 mile at 6:40 pace. Always wondered what it was like to go that fast. Sure felt close to my sprints back in the college soccer days. I have never been fast but I felt like it for a mile and a half yesterday. Training is going decent for Squaw and ready to keep picking it up.
Basically- my training and my effort/success is based around my Achilles. Not out of the woods yet.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Great run with side effects?

Got up early today and ran with Joel and Cory along the BST north and got in a solid 12-13 miles. Great morning! The spring run off is flowing down all the canyons and the smells and sites are great- not to mention the trail is fabulous! I am changing my work schedule a bit in order to make these morning runs with these guys. They really push me and I hurt but when its done, I feel great!
Now- the real issue! My Achilles is absolutely PIST! It isn't in a good mood at all. It is swollen and SORE! I iced it immediately took some NSAID's and man it is fighting back. What does this mean? I thought I was good to go with minor pain but wow!
Well, Saturday and Sunday will be another back to back long runs if the Achilles can keep me upright. 5 weeks until Squaw and counting. Gotta step it up!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Here we go again...

The weekend has come and gone with me coming up short on the miles I wanted. On top of that, as I sit here and type, my Achilles has some weird pain. Yesterday I got out on a run with Cory Johnson, Joel and John Woj for 123 nice miles at varying paces. The weather held out for our run with only a couple minutes of a snow skiff. I came up 7 miles short of 50 this week so now I need to get it done this week. Only a few weeks until Squaw. My Achilles has a strange pain in it today. I can usually feel tightness and being a little sore but today it feels different. Maybe it was trying to keep up with Cory yesterday of too much lifting and tweaking moving my mom on Saturday. Who knows.
This weeks plan- Tuesday-run, Wednesday -swim, Thursday-run, Saturday run and Sunday-run. Really need to hit at least 50 miles.
Any recommendations for an ice/gel pack for my Achilles? I can't seem to find one anywhere so now I need to go into cyber-world.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lazy days

I am not doing a good job of keeping up with the blog but oh well. I got in 2 solid runs this week so far and look forward to an early Saturday run before Sami's soccer game and moving my mom. Sunday, I will again awake with the roosters and head out. My goal is to get 30 miles in those 2 days which will bring my total for the week to 50. Next week will call for more miles and I just got my schedule changed at work to accommodate early Thursday morning runs before work. Pinched in every week I will spend one day in the pool. Not too far before Squaw Peak and as of right now don't feel good about hitting my goal. The Achilles has flared a bit this week and I felt more on my Wednesday 10 mile run but no sharp pains.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's April...right?

April 15th- Tax Day. What a better way to celebrate paying our beloved government than SKIING. I gave some money to Uncle Sam to pass on to the unfortunate MULTI BILLION DOLLAR companies that are struggling and threw a little bit toward Earl Holding too. I took off work and played hookie with my wife and we headed up to Snowbasin to what will most likely be the last time I ski for awhile. To our surprise it was AMAZING! The snow was soft and there was fresh powder everywhere. Throw in the fact that there was no one on the mountain and you have yourself a little piece of heaven. Every run was making fresh tracks. There were a couple spots that were deeper than knee powder! There was a slight snowfall and the sun played peak-a-boo most of the day. 2 days ago I was running in the mountains with 65 degree temps and today I was skiing mid-season snow. Here in Utah we take our knocks but we got a good thing going here. Hell- add the recent change to liquor laws and poof, here we go!

I will count today as quad burning cross training and tomorrow I will throw on the trail shoes for some single track. What a week!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Back at it

As planned, I got out tonight on what felt like very weak legs. Went from Rainbow and headed north on the BST. Great evening for a run. This may have been the best weather of the year. There were alot of people on the trails, mostly bikers. Pace was slower than normal and just didn't feel it but what do you expect after a lazy week. Wednesday I will get in my last day of skiing for the year even though we still have tons of snow a the resorts. I will still get out Thursday night, Saturday (time depending on Sami's first soccer game of the year) and Sunday.

Before the run tonight I came home to a surprise. SOCKS! Not just any socks but the most comfortable socks around- oh and they look fantastic too! You decide. I even have some for purchase. Why green, why racing stripes...WHY NOT? I have some on right now. They go with absolutely everything and sure to make you faster!

Week Review

Well not the week I had originally planned and now I have to pay for it both mentally and physically. I went on a run Wed but it only totalled 9 miles. Saturday I got all my trail work done for the Bear in September which is nice but didn't get out on Easter. So a whopping 9 miles for the week. Physically it sucks but it probably stings more mentally. It's good for me to post on here even when I am naughty because that stings too and really makes not want to be a slacker again. I will get out today in the mountains, a couple days of swimming and 3 more days of running.

I am also starting to put the finishing touches on my race schedule and jotting down my training for a few weeks at a time. Last week is lost and it sucks but this week will be much needed. If it wasn't for my personal life, this running thing would sure be easier!

Who's the rabbit?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The sun was out.

A great morning for a little back to back run. Met a group (Anthony, Kacey, Mike, Frank and Dr. Rocco and his dog) @ 8 am at Rainbow. The wind was really blowing and it was tough to figure out what to wear. I opted for shorts and was glad I did. The first bit of the run was a little chilly but it didn't take long for the sun to come over the mountain and heat things up. Today we went north on BST and headed further towards North Ogden Pass. Great group of runners with all abilities. Kacey, being a very solid runner, led most of the way and the rest of us just fell in. The trails are just in incredible shape and with the sun starting to participate a little more, it made for a fantastic run. All in all we did around 12 miles. I feel pretty fortunate to have such great people to run with. Still not good at meeting new people but trail running has sure helped. It really is hard to find better people than the ones you share the trails with....
Overall the body felt pretty good and now it is time to increase the mileage a bit. Squaw Peak is 9 weeks away and getting closer. Mentally I think I feel good enough about my Achilles to go forward. Considering the limited amount of running this year, I feel stronger than last year at this time. Being new to the whole running thing I think I need some structure from a "real" runner. I got a few goals this year and honestly not sure if the training I am doing is making me better or just maintaining what I have. I think having a better plan with someone who knows running could really help me attain my goals- not of winning anything but just seeing what I can do. So.......Any takers?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Good Morning!

What a morning for a run. I met Joel at rainbow gardens around 6:30 am. it was a little eerie since the weather in the parking lot was calm. I wore tights for the first time in my life and it wasn't as bad as I thought. We headed south along the BST and headed over towards Weber State. The trail was in pretty good shape all the way. We came across one patch of ice but it was only 40 yards long. The temps were great as we slowly could see some storm clouds roll in. We hit around 9-10 miles at a comfortable pace. Great run followed by a very productive day.
The Achilles seems to be responding well to the trails. Still a dull ache every once in awhile but overall I am feeling pretty good.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Buffalo Run 25k 2009- 2:45

Whew! What a day. Taking advice from a good friend and more than experienced ultra runner- I decided not to be a slave to the watch. What a crazy yet rewarding experience. Having not run more than 10 miles this year I knew it would be an adventure but hey that's why I do this anyway right. Got to the island about 40 minutes early to make sure I knew what to wear. All I really took was my Pearl Izumi sleeves with the standard shorts, shirt, socks, shoes and of course Smith sunglasses (great plug there). It was a beautiful morning. I headed over to the start and ran into Anthony and Mike wandering around with the crowd. Jim (RD) announced to get to the start. As we listened to the count down I made a quick adjustment to the iPod when all the sudden... GO! Oh crap- I got off to a slow start and knew I blew my chance of winning this race so I settled into a comfortable pace. The course was changed from the last few years, from the start we headed up a hill. I wasn't ready for any climbing yet even if it wasn't a typical mountain climb. I knew this would test the Achilles out of the gate. Mentally I was feeling great, I came to lone tree with out breaking my pace but this had a steeper section and I had to walk it a bit. I hit the aide station just in time to see my buddy Phil undressing down to his underwear- man was I outta there! After the aid station there is a nice little decent and every year I get after it all the way down. Its a fun section before you start the switchbacks. Not knowing exactly how my legs would respond to the climb at the start I figured I should power hike the switchbacks as well as run. I took a camera with me this year knowing I wasn't going to have the legs to just go for 3 hours but I also decided I didn't want to get out of my groove in any way so the camera stayed tucked away.

At the top of the switchbacks I settled in with a group of about 5 runners and just tried to keep pace. We made it back around to the aide station and I knew this was new territory for the year mileage wise. Not knowing how long I had been on the course was strange and although I knew about what mile I was I figured my legs would really slow down here. I kept on moving and just hoped for the best. As the finish got closer my legs were heavy but I was in a little rhythm so I didn't want to slow. From the top of the mountain I could see the finish and the runners in front of me. This is where my competitive juices kicked in. When the person in front of me would turn to see where they were, I took it as a challenge. From the top of the mountain to the finish I probably passed close to 8 people. Not that I was blazing but having my winter weight still and gravity- I flew down the mountain. I came to the finish and finally saw the time- 2:45. The goal was sub 3 so for that I felt good. The Achilles held up and overall I was pretty happy. I finished 61 out of 201 and 17th in my age group. Being my first race of the year and my longest run of the year, I felt good. Sometimes its tough to sit at the finish knowing I finished 61st when there are so many runners there but in the end I am there for challenge and the experience. I have some goals but none are to win. Maybe some day I will put on my own race and not open registration so I can win it.

A great big THANK YOU to everyone that made the race possible. Jim Skaggs just raises the bar every year. I have run all 4 years of the race and let me tell you, they have all been fantastic! I saw a lot of familiar faces and met many others. All in all it was a beautiful day! My family and I hung out after my race for about 3 hours and just took it all in. Maybe that's why I run these things......

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More snow? What the.......? (7.2 miles)

I planned on getting a good run in before Buffalo Saturday and knew the weather wasn't going to cooperate. Lucky for me I committed to go with 3 others so I had to be there. When we left Rainbow Gardens it was wet. Slushy snow/rain fell so I threw on my Pearl Izumi Seek WRX trail shoes. Let me tell you, these fellas stood up to the test! As we climbed to get to BST, we noticed the snow getting fluffier and lighter. It was perfect. The mountain was covered with snow all but our nice little single track. It was a beautiful run with lots of stops to take in the views. It was a very inspiring run and it was a day I felt thankful to be able to be up there.

The Achilles seems to be handling the mileage and trail pretty well. We did the out and back of 7.2 miles which seemed to be perfect. I have my first race of the year Saturday, Buffalo Run 25k. I am about as ready as I can be and really look forward to see some familiar faces. The run is just a bonus at this point. A week ago I wasn't even sure I was going to run but now I feel more confident I can finish the race and remain healthy. Good Luck to those of you at Buffalo and I hope to see you all. Cheers!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I may be back (to back). (9.6 miles)

Well, woke up after yesterdays run and the Achilles was in pretty decent shape. No real swelling, no real stiffness. Signs= good. I got to run with another great group of people- Phil, Anthony, Mike, Hal and Kacey. We met at Rainbow Gardens and decided to head north. The weather was cold and we had that damn canyon wind going. Once you leave Rainbow, you get to climb right out of the gate. Its' runnable for sure but I wasn't sure how I would do. My trail legs are not their and my quads felt heavy. I made it up over half way before I decided not to push too hard so I stopped and walked/ran the rest. I have been told that the climbing is where I was going to feel my Achilles ache but surprising it felt great. We went north and right away I knew I was in for a tough go. I just haven't been on the trails and the legs knew it. I kept reminding myself what my good friend Eddy told me- "it's always good to train on tired legs". I knew not to push too hard but I also know it's time to really put in the hard work. (If it was easy, everyone would do it). I survived the run of 9.6 miles and felt really good overall. A back to back of almost 10 miles on the trails, I will take it. Buffalo is only 6 days away. I had high hopes for this race but the plan now is to go out without a watch or GPS and just enjoy it. It's gonna be tough but sitting at home would be tougher.
I plan on taking tomorrow off and hitting the pool Tuesday and running BST Wednesday (with 2 more great friends) and resting up for my first race (I mean run) of the year.
I want to give a quick thank you to everyone who has passed on advice and encouragement for me over the winter. I am not out of the woods yet with the Achilles but just like running an ultra, just keep moving forward.....

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dirt is good... (9.65 miles)

It FINALLY happened. I actually ran on a trail in the mountains. It has been so long. I got invited to go on a run with Jamie, Tom, Ron and their 3 dogs. I knew I had to get out on the trails to really test the Achilles and see what it could do. Buffalo Run is only a week away and since I will not be gunning for my PR, I had to make sure I could at least do it.
We set out from the Ogden Nature Center trail head and headed south. It was tough to keep my pace down at some points since the adrenaline was jolting through my body but I managed. The weather was upper 60's to low 70's and I could smell dirt, tree and sweat. I WAS BACK! I probably focused too much on my Achilles and not enough on the fact I was running- really running! No treadmill, no TV, no distractions. Just single track, sun, dirt and good friends.
We totalled 9.65 miles and I was stoked. I never felt any "sharp" pains and the discomfort was pretty minimal even during the inclines. The run was a success but now I need to see how tomorrow goes. I plan on getting about 10 more in on Sunday but word on the street is that the weather is gonna be nasty. That's alright though as Mr. Bowerman says, "there is no such thing as bad weather, just soft people." Well I am done being soft.....

Monday, March 9, 2009

Fingers Crossed

I may not be able to walk and chew gum at the same time but I found out I can run and cross my fingers at the same time. Got in some quality running this weekend! The Achilles felt alright and no more swelling. I could feel it after my second run at 7 miles but no sharp pains. Just a dull little ache letting me know it is still there. I still don't have great hope for Buffalo in 2 weeks but got a little more confidence which I have been lacking. Really looking forward to Squaw Peak this year. I have only been doing this for a few years and haven't run all the great races but SP50 so far is my favorite. I will keep up the swimming twice a week and running four days a week with one day off for a bit longer.
Today is a very special day. My Little girl turned 4. Is that possible? For her birthday she asked me for running shoes, running shorts and a running shirt. So proud....

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Proud Daddy!

Well, it's not everyday you get a first. Not just any first but one that brings tears to your eyes. My family went up to Wolf Mountain over the weekend so my daughters could ski for the first time. It has taken a little time to talk them into it but Saturday night they agreed to go.

We enrolled them in some lessons which ended up being private lessons (bonus). You could see the excitement but it was over shadowed by nervousness for sure. Aspen (my 3 year old) was first. I took her to her instructor-who was amazing, and Aspen needed about 5 or 6 hugs and some kisses and I love yous to get her going.

Next up was Sami (12 year old daughter), I took her to her instructor who was equally amazing and she was off!

As I peaked at them and saw them from the lift, I am not sure I could have been more proud. They were skiing! Lots of emotions filled their old man that's for sure. Melony and I hit the slopes until lunch and went back to collect our kids. They were having a blast. After lunch, they wanted more. Melony and I took turns skiing with them down the hill by the "magic carpet".

When we were about to leave, they both were disappointed and wanted to stay. That's my girls!

A proud day I will never forget!

As for me, the training is very slow and go. Swimming twice a week and trying to start running again. The Achilles isn't healed but it is tolerating under 5 miles. So my Buffalo plans are changing. Every year i have improved my time by 41 minutes, then 24 minutes and this year I will be hoping to run just to be out with friends and family. The year isn't going anywhere to what I planned so we will see whats next.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Progress is Progress

Well I haven't ran for 1 week. At my Dr. visit last week he prescribed me some meds and gave me lifts and patches to wear. My Achilles hasn't felt this good since last July. I am hoping it isn't false hope. I will run on it tonight. Slow and easy. Missing Moab really stung! Next is Buffalo on March 28th. Only doing the 25k so that should get me a good start. With all this damn snow, I may need snowshoes for the race. In the pool I am improving and still going twice a week. I just can't seem to figure it out though. Pretty frustrating but I can definitely feel the workout!

Tomorrow, Thursday February 19th, is the 4 year mark of the passing of my father. I sure do miss him. I wasn't running ultra's back then but I definitely feel him with me on my runs and races. He sure would have loved it himself. So tomorrow I will break my diet so I can have his favorite meal. It was like his desert. I will have a big fat cheeseburger, fry and chocolate shake. It may send my body into a tail spin but it will be more than worth it. To you dad, I miss you and love you !

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Anniversary to me.

Well today is my 5 year wedding anniversary! Lucky for me my wife has put up with me for that long. The lease is up and I am hoping she wants to keep me. I am pretty lucky, as many of you runners (and others) know, its really hard to do this thing without support, maybe even impossible. Thank you Melony, I love you!
On a side note, went to a Podiatrist yesterday and got a check up on the Achilles. So now I wear heal lifts, wear a patch on the area and am taking a steroid! Not anabolic so I don't need to worry about MLB testing, not that they would care. I am still pretty frustrated to I am keeping an appointment with a Orthopedic next week. I was told running was bad, really? I also hit the pool today and had my best workout yet, must be the adrenaline from my anniversary. Sad to say i will not be running Moab Saturday, very disappointed. This race helped get me through winter. Next up Buffalo run (I hope).
Good Luck to all in Moab this weekend. Keep your eye on Justin Ricks in the 50k. Good Luck to all my friends I train with!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Getting old.

It is getting old. I put in a solid run last night but the Achilles was in bad shape. I don't know what to do or what is going on. I am doing everything "by the book" and it seems like it is getting worse. I don't know if I am causing more damage or I just need to learn to deal with pain. I have heard so much about Achilles injuries and lengths of rehab but after 3 months of nothing and it still isn't better concerns me.
I got up his morning and braved the snow fall at 5:30 am, hit the pool and put in some laps. Swimming doesn't bother the Achilles at all which is no surprise but I want to run in the mountains. I set an appointment for a podiatrist tomorrow (wed) so I hope to get some answers. All I need know is what's going on. Ease my mind. I am missing Moab this weekend but I really want to be ready for Buffalo. I love the race and love the 25k. I am really hoping to get answers tomorrow. This is just getting old and frustrating.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Well, its time to start posting a little bit more. I wanted to wait until things started to become more consistent. Right now I am swimming on Tues and Thurs. mornings and running 4 days a week. I am taking one day off a week. The miles are huge but the Achilles won't let me get into any sort of rhythm. Unfortunately I will be skipping the Moab race this year so my first race will be Buffalo run in March. After that, i am hoping to run the Spring Desert Ultra in April but time will tell. So far it seems my comfort of running hits a wall at about 7 miles at a 8:35 pace. For me that isn't bad and I don't want to go to far and risk re injuring the Achilles. Currently I am just playing it by pain. The swelling is there everyday as well as the lap around the kitchen every morning to loosen it up.
Good news, the PI-Smith team is really looking good. Lots of quality races for these amazing athletes. The new kits look fantastic and of course the PI stuff is first class.
My wife is tinkering withe the idea of running the 5 mile race at Spring Desert and i am very proud of the miles she is putting in. Before you know it she will be faster than her old hubby.
Expect more up to date posts and hopefully more miles.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Everyone outta the pool!

Whew! So today I tackled something not so new but very daunting. Swimming! So apparently you can't just jump in and go. I met my friend Duane (triathlete) at 6am for a swim. About the only thing I got right was I had goggles. The first day was all about breathing. Yes breathing. I would have never thought...breathing. Talk about tough. One thing I am fortunate for is Duane. He was incredibly helpful and very patient. I am guessing if he wasn't there things wouldn't have worked out so well. In fact, I bet the life guard would have jumped in to try and save me- not because I was drowning but because it looked like I was drowning. After a little over an hour in the pool I started to feel more comfortable and with a few more tweaks, practice and gear- I may have a chance to look a little more graceful and not use so much energy. All in all it was an incredible workout.
Next Tuesday will be part 2 of "Manners in the pool".

Monday, January 26, 2009

Slowly but surely.

It's been awhile since I posted but there hasn't been a whole lot going on. I have decided the Achilles issue will be there and I just need to be smart and take care of it while I run. The past few weeks I have put in some good running and I actually feel pretty good. The mileage isn't huge but I want to make sure I don't push it too hard too fast. I have a fun year lined up and want to stay as healthy as possible so I am preaching patience.
I am excited to race in my new Pearl Izumi shoes. They are the best shoes I have ever worn!
The team is really taking shape and the new kits look great. Visit us at and enter the contest to win some Smith glasses.
I will get better at posting my mileage and stuff but in the mean time, take a look at the Team site and help us out...we need a catch phrase.