Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Team Pearl Izumi-Smith Summit

Well after some mediocre training this past week, I am off to Colorado for the team summit. All the athletes and sponsors will be in Boulder for a couple days of product testing, design info, feedback, education, running, sharing a few beers and some stories of the trail but more importantly the Team "Balls of Fury" Table Tennis competition.
I am looking forward to spending some time with not only great athletes but amazing people. This will be my Disneyland trip!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

William Wayne Manning

5 years ago today I lost my dad. It is something we all go through- losing a parent or close loved one. Not a day goes by I do not think about him. It's funny, sometimes the thoughts I have are ones brought on by something I say or do. I have a lot of my dad in me. Not all his traits and characteristics but many key ones. He taught me my love for athletics. He taught me to fish, set up a tent and drive. He taught me love for the outdoors. He pushed me to be the best I could be at the sport for whatever season we were in. He taught me to be on time or early, never late. There are many things I can take away from my dad that make me proud. There are things I can take away that are not things I agree with or understand either. He taught me nobody is perfect even if in my eyes they were. It wasn't until he dropped me off for college in Oregon until I truly seen him cry. He was my best friend. My coach. My dad.
I doubt he would ever understand the running I do now. He passed before I picked up my new hobby. It was always soccer and baseball. He would think I was crazy- which I'm sure I am to a degree. The crazy thing about running is I feel closer to him at those times than any other. Being outside in the mountains gaining elevation- I get closer. I know he is with me, he always will be. When I race, I carry a spent gun casing from his funeral- he is always there when I need the pick me up. I was presented with the flag and I can honestly say- that is the greatest honor I have felt and made me more proud than ever. He served in the Air Force and the Navy.
He did have his short-comings and so do I. He had his strengths- and I like to think I have a set of those as well. I am glad you got to meet Melony and Sami. You passed 2 weeks before my 1st daughter was born. I like to think you met somewhere along the way. Aspen will know her grandpa through my stories and my voice.
Dad, I love you and miss you. Thanks for showing me my passions. I hope to one day be the kind of father that you were. It may have been rough at times but as I grow older, I understand more. Thanks for hitting the trails with me and pushing me farther. Thanks for showing me it's not okay to stop short of the goal. Thanks for showing me that if you want something you go and get it and not wait for it.
You left too early and I may never understand why. I may still have days where I am angry. I may always feel like I could have been there more for you in your final years. One thing for sure, you made me a better person by all your traits- good and bad. We all need to make decisions and I am glad you taught me how to make those- good or bad. Most of all I hope you are looking down on me and feel proud of what I have become.
R.I.P. Dad- your little boy- Aric

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Moab Red Hot 50k Report

My family and I headed down to Moab for the annual Moab Red Hot races. I felt lucky to go down since the day before the race was my 6 year anniversary being married to my very supportive and beautiful wife. I registered for the 33k and had been waffling with the idea of doing the 50k. The night before we left I decided to stick to the 33k and packed accordingly. I only took what I would need for the 33k so I couldn't change my mind at the last minute. Once we got down there we drove over to Eddie McStiff's for check-in. I stood in the 33k line and told them my name---I wasn't on the list. They checked the 50k list and there I was. So, I decided to just do the 50k. Why not?

After check-in we got a table and enjoyed the "runner's special". Athletes started piling in to check-in and I got the chance to see some familiar faces and good friends. This helped make it official- I was back. Sitting out since June of 2009 was tough and I started to get those butterflies in the tummy.

We went back to the hotel and I got my stuff ready while the family hit the hotel pool. I didn't sleep well- partly due to excitement as well as nerves.

Race morning was a balmy 14 degrees. The race kicked off at 8 am and it was cold. You could see all the runners trying to figure out what to wear. I opted for shorts, shirt and a long sleeve. When the race started I settled into a pretty comfortable pace knowing it was going to be a long day. We hit the incline right off the start and there was no dirt to be found. Snow everywhere. Combined with the slickrock, there were quite a few falls all along the course. About 5miles in we started our next little climb and the snow was easily mid shin deep for close to 4 miles. This made it tough. I felt good up to the 20 mile mark and was pleased with my pace. The sun was out now and the temps were rising. I shed the long sleeve and just had my short sleeve to work with. As i hit the 2nd to last aide station, I started to feel the heat a abit and needed to get more fluids. I pulled into the aide station to fill my bottles and get out. Problem: they ran out of water. Damn! The next aide station was close to 6+ miles away and I was already behind in the fluids. Some runners shared some choice words and a group of us left the aide station. I was no more than 100 yards out and started to cramp up. First my right calf then my left. Perfect. We were starting a nice downhill section on slickrock and I had to walk a majority of it. Unfortunately for me, I was forced to walk a real good chunk from here. I stopped a couple times and gobbled down some snow but it didn't help much. I kept reminding myself that I just wasn't "born to tun". A mountain biker came by and I was only about a 1/4 mile from the aide station so I asked him if he had seen it and how much farther. He replied- "about 2.5 miles to 3", my face sunk. He mentioned due to the trail conditions they couldn't make it to the original location. Well that was just perfect I thought. When I finally made it to the last aide station, they were out of water as well. By this point I wanted it to all be over. A rush of adrenaline/anger kicked in and I took off to the finish. I would be curious to know my actual pace to the finish cause I felt like I was movin.

When I got to the line, the clock read 7:24. I was relieved to be done but pissed at my time. I was hoping for at least an hour off that.

All in all, I got time on my feet and got to run with some great people. We got in a quality family vacation and hopefully it helped me more for the Buffalo Run 50 miler in March.

When you go that slow in races they do have an award. Here it is below.....kissin a camel on Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Moab Red Hot- Pre-race

So in a couple days I will be running my first race since Squaw Peak last June. I am truly excited. I really look forward to getting back out there with all the other athletes and running through the Red rocks of Moab. With the winter training I have put in I am looking forward to running this again. I ran it 2 years ago and had a great time. It will be nice having a change of scenery and a mini vacation with the family. I have toyed with the idea of upping to the 50k but I think I will stick to the 33k. Still early in the year for me and I feel comfortable with my Achilles going 33k. I am not going to put a time on this race or a prediction. I am going to try and run it how I feel and push maybe more than I normally would. Use this as a solid trainer for my 50 miler next month on Antelope Island.
My race schedule is really firming up. I wanted to run two 100-milers this year- one being the Bear 100 and after Hardrock denial (whew!) I just sent my stuff in for the Swan Crest 100 in Montana. Looks like an exciting and beautiful course and the fact you need to carry bear spray for the entire race or get DQ'd seems interesting. I think the key will be to try and stay close to a runner or 2 and if all hell breaks loose with a grizzly- start tripping people.....HA!
Well, I hope to see some familiar faces in Moab this weekend and have a few beers to catch up on the ultra life!
Man, I am excited............

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A good January

While my posts were few and far between, I did get some good miles in this month. January is a month I have NEVER gone far. Low miles and excuses. Well this January I am happy to say I did 145 miles. Not to bad to start the year. Not as many as most but for me and being January, I am very happy. I am hoping to get over 200 for February and stay above that for awhile. Getting the Achilles injury under control, I didn't want to push to hard to fast but I feel very comfortable with this. I got in some speedwork, weight training and cross training which didn't compute to the miles but definitely helped with overall fitness.
Hopefully February will stay injury free. I am really looking forward to the race in Moab. It looks like I will do the 33k. I toyed with the idea of the 50k but decided to make sure I am up to it (Achilles). I don't want to take any chances.
Side note, the Hard Rock lottery is this weekend and like a fool I put in. It's on my birthday so what the hell. The hope was to NOT get in but rather build up some tickets for the future. Problem is I am batting .500 with lotteries (Wasatch 100 2008-in Western States 2010- nope)so this could help or hurt the average.
While you are here, check out the contest HERE.