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.